Tribute to the Late Clive Afflick

This is in tribute to Dr Clive Afflick who served as the Jamaica Theological Seminary (JTS) principal from 1984 -1991. Dr Afflick was almost a foundational Jamaican lecturer at the JTS. Along with the late SO Beckles of the Church of God in Jamaica, they formed the only two non-American lecturers at the JTS in its first decade. When I met Clive Afflick he was teaching in the evening, a course called Study Methods. I remember him for his wit and congenial nature. Later on he assumed a more central role teaching such subjects as Greek and New Testament Exegesis. He was at that time the principal of a private high school located nearby to the JTS campus, named Dunrobin High School.

Dr Zenas Gerig felt a great desire to retire from the day management and leadership of the JTS and to devote himself to the development of the Caribbean Evangelical Theological Association (CETA) and the building of a Graduate School-the Caribbean Graduate School of Theology (CGST). The mantle to continue as principal of the JTS fell on Dr Clive Afflick with the support of the affable Mrs. Deta Afflick. The Afflicks soon moved on Campus and lived in the President’s house that had been recently acquired at 2 Grove Park Avenue, Kingston 8.

When the requirement to complete his PhD at this university college in Florida pressed upon him, Dr. Afflick sought to go on study leave from his job as principal. His leave was approved on the condition that he found someone to act in the post of principal.

One day at lunch after I returned to Jamaica from studying at the Westminster Theological Seminary, Dr. Afflick broached the subject of my acting in the post as principal while he completed his PhD. I consented. On the face of it I did Dr. Afflick a favour, but the real favour was done to me. It was an enormous vote of confidence for a young thirty year old, something that was very much in character with Clive Afflick to put his faith and confidence in young people. More than being young I was not well-regarded because of my ostensible left leaning ideology by those who Dr. Afflick worked for and whose approval he needed. Nevertheless, the deal was done and I acted as principal between September 1987 and March 1988. I was happy to have, in some way, facilitated this great man.

When Dr. Afflick discontinued his journey at the JTS I lost touch with him, but always received kind greetings and best wishes from him through third parties. I learnt of his sojourn at the University Christian School and of his contribution. I want to express thanks for Dr. Clive Afflick’s service to JTS. The current Academic Dean of the Seminary is David Pearson. He stopped in my office to say, that Dr. Afflick never actually taught him a course, but no one has had a greater impact on his life than Dr. Afflick. He said perhaps it is his nurturing personality that has also had the same effect on many others.

A soldier has ridden off into the night, we will see him again, he has not ran away, he is on another mission. We will meet on the other side of the sea of fire. Rest in Peace.

President, Jamaica Theological Seminary
Rev. Dr. Garnett Roper

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