Pastor Victor McEachrane

From Caribbean Union Gleanings, Third Quarter, 1993, p. 24.

 

McEachrane, Victor Hugh (1911–1994)

By Glenn O. Phillips

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Glenn O. Phillips, Ph.D. (Howard University, Washington, D.C.), although retired, is actively writing, researching, lecturing, and publishing. He was a professor at Morgan State University, Howard University, and the University of the Southern Caribbean. He has authored and published numerous articles, book reviews, and books, including “The African Diaspora Experience,” “Singing in a Strange Land: The History of the Hanson Place Church,” “African American Leaders of Maryland,” and “The Caribbean Basin Initiative.”

First Published: January 29, 2020

Victor Hugh McEachrane was known as a pioneering Caribbean evangelist and Adventist speaker. Elder McEachrane was a trailblazing minister in the eastern Caribbean who was one of the first to hold large evangelistic meetings beginning in the mid-1940s. These meetings drew hundreds who came to hear him preach, resulting in hundreds joining the Adventist church from the northern Leeward Islands down to Guyana.

Victor Hugh McEachrane was born at Mount St. George in Tobago, the sister island of Trinidad, on August 26, 1911, to Simeon and Martha McMillan McEachrane. His father had been a constable and was a land proprietor in Tobago.1 From his youth, Victor exhibited a keen interest and success in his studies and received his early schooling at the Methodist school in Tobago. He became a student teacher and later successfully passed the government of Trinidad and Tobago’s teacher qualification examination. He quickly became one of the leading teachers at the Scarborough Methodist School.

His decision to become an Adventist led to multiple family and church tensions, resulting in termination from his teaching position and his enrollment to study for the gospel ministry at Caribbean Training School in Maracas Valley in northern Trinidad on December 19, 1930.2 Over the following eight years McEachrane prepared himself to become one of the most successful Adventist preachers in the eastern Caribbean. After the completion of his studies, he graduated in December 1938, as the president of his class.3

During his first four years, McEachrane worked mostly as an educator-teacher and principal in Trinidad for the South Caribbean Conference, but he desired to enter full time into direct evangelistic work. When he was principal of the Port-of-Spain SDA School, he received a call in 1943 to become a full-time pastor in the British Guiana (Guyana) Mission in South America.4

McEachrane had a lifelong hobby of writing poetry that quickly blossomed into his uniquely powerful preaching style. After careful planning with the dynamic congregations where he served, he conducted a number of very successful evangelistic crusades during his years in British Guiana. One of his most far reaching evangelistic achievements was during 1944 when he held meetings at Golden Grove on the east coast of the Demerara River, resulting in the baptism of 110 people. He became the first centurion Adventist evangelist in British Guiana and the Caribbean Union Mission. He continued to conduct very successful evangelistic meetings throughout the ten years he pastored there, from 1943 to 1953, and he was ordained to the ministry on February 4, 1945.5 During this time he also held evangelistic meetings in the other districts he pastored, including New Amsterdam, East Berbice-Corentyne, and Georgetown.

In 1953 he was invited to be the leading evangelist in the northern regions of the Leeward Islands Mission. He was often the only Adventist minister serving many of these widely scattered islands with multiple churches and companies on St. Kitts, Nevis, and Anguilla, as well as St. Eustatius and St. Maarten. Pastor McEachrane continued to be a very effective pastor and a very successful evangelist, attracting large numbers of attendees to his meetings, converting large numbers, and baptizing more than was done previously.

During 1956, McEachrane was invited to return to Trinidad to serve in various pastoral districts. He also introduced new methods of evangelism that attracted larger and more diverse audiences than had previously been achieved in evangelistic meetings. Additionally, he conducted a number of Prophecy Lecture Series in the Port-of Spain area, supported by a weekly five-minute radio program on one of the leading radio stations, Radio Trinidad, called “The Blessed Hope.” This reached a vast audience and broke all records in terms of listenership.

During 1961, McEachrane and his family migrated to the United States and resided in Brooklyn, New York, where he continued to share his gift of preaching with the growing number of Seventh-day Adventist congregations in the New York City area. While he was not formally attached during these years to any local Adventist organization, he became deeply involved in holding crusades at various churches, as well as conducting Bible seminars. He was also involved in the area’s expanding Prison Ministry. During 1988, he enrolled at the Theological Seminary on the campus of Andrews University, in Berrien Springs, Michigan, studying in the Master of Divinity degree program.6

McEachrane’s preaching of the Three Angel’s Messages for more than 40 years resulted in the formation of numerous congregations across the eastern Caribbean as well as the baptism of approximately 1,000 people into the Adventist faith. McEachrane remained highly regarded as one of the most successful pioneering eastern Caribbean evangelists of his time. In recognition of this achievement, the Board of Trustees, on the recommendation of the Department of Theology at Caribbean Union College (University of the Southern Caribbean), established the Victor McEachrane Chair of Preaching on April 24, 1993. On that occasion, after he preached a moving sermon entitled “In Search of a Man,” Dr. Roy McGarrell, chairperson of the faculty of theology and religion, captured the heights of McEachrane’s early ministry describing him as “…The preacher par excellence, an exponent of prophecy, a biblical expositor of no mean caliber, a historian of merit, and as a pulpiteer, a craftsman of high quality.”7

McEachrane was also well respected for the wonderful care he gave his wife and children. At the beginning of his ministry, he married nurse Norva Baldwin on August 24, 1941, and to this union came five children: Lenore Anne, Lorena Faye, Hollis Hugh, Jacinth Hazel, and Sandra Sharon, all of whom accompanied him and his wife to their adopted home in Brooklyn, New York. McEachrane passed to his rest on July 4, 1994, after a brief illness at the Brooklyn Jewish Hospital. His funeral was held July 10, 1994, at the Hanson Place SDA Church in Brooklyn, New York, and he was buried the next day at the Rosehill Cemetery in Linden, New Jersey.8

Sources

Brewster, Erwin. Who is Who in British Guiana 1945-1948. Fourth Edition. Georgetown, British Guiana: 1948.

Caribbean Training College Enrollment Record Book 1927-1947. Maracas Royal Road, Maracas Valley, Trinidad: 1927-1948.

McGarrell, Roy. “The Installation of the Victor McEachrane: Chair of Preaching at Caribbean Union College.” Caribbean Union Gleanings, Third Quarter, 1993.

McEachrane, Victor H. Sapphire Seas. Berrien Springs, MI: Lithtech, 2000.

Murray, Eric John. A History of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Trinidad and Tobago 1891-1981. Maracas Valley, Trinidad: College Press, 1981.

Phillips, Glenn O. The Making of a Christian College: Caribbean Union College, 1927-1977. Maracas Valley, Trinidad: College Press, 1977.

The funeral program of Pastor Victor H. McEachrane held on July 10, 1994, at the Hanson Place SDA Church, Brooklyn, New York City. Department of Health, Borough of Manhattan Certificate of Death of Victor McEachrane, No. 56-94-036301.

Notes

  1. Victor H. McEachrane, Sapphire Seas (Berrien Springs, MI: Lithtech, 2000), 12.

  2. Erwin Brewster, Who is Who in British Guiana 1945-1948, Fourth Edition (Georgetown, British Guiana: 1948), 349.

  3. Eric John Murray, A History of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Trinidad and Tobago 1891-1981 (Maracas Valley, Trinidad: College Press, 1981), 63.

  4. Caribbean Training College Enrollment Record Book 1927-1947 (Maracas Royal Road, Maracas Valley, Trinidad: 1927-1948), 6.

  5. Glenn O. Phillips, The Making of a Christian College: Caribbean Union College, 1927-1977 (Maracas Valley, Trinidad: College Press, 1977), 38.

  6. “A Chronology of Adventism in Guyana,” (Georgetown, Guyana: Guyana Mission of SDA Publications), 120.

  7. Roy McGarrell, “The Installation of the Victor McEachrane: Chair of Preaching at Caribbean Union College,” Caribbean Union Gleanings, Third Quarter, 1993, 24.

  8. The funeral program of Pastor Victor H. McEachrane held on July 10, 1994, at the Hanson Place SDA Church, Brooklyn, New York City; Department of Health, Borough of Manhattan Certificate of Death of Victor McEachrane, No. 56-94-036301.

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Phillips, Glenn O. "McEachrane, Victor Hugh (1911–1994)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 29, 2020. Accessed April 17, 2024. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=9C6G.

Phillips, Glenn O. "McEachrane, Victor Hugh (1911–1994)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 29, 2020. Date of access April 17, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=9C6G.

Phillips, Glenn O. (2020, January 29). McEachrane, Victor Hugh (1911–1994). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved April 17, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=9C6G.