World renowned Dr. Philip Potter passes on

Dr. Potter was known around the world
Dr. Potter was known around the world

The third general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Dominican, Dr. Philip Potter, has died.

Potter, described a “world icon,” died on March 31 at the age of 93 in Lübeck, Germany.

He served as General Secretary of the WCC between 1972 and 1984.

The WCC described him as “a global ecumenical leader known for accompanying churches around the world in their struggles for unity, justice and peace.”

“Almost everyone I meet who has a strong image of or a strong opinion about the World Council of Churches links this to Philip Potter,” Fykse Tveit, the WCC general secretary said in tribute. “First as a young delegate at conferences and assemblies, then as a member of staff, and later as WCC general secretary, Philip has always brought high visibility to the Council.”

He added, “He was ever ready to open debates, to offer the WCC as an open space for ecumenical reflection and action and to make known his own positions. Philip Potter remains as ever, a credible witness to the vision of the kingdom of God and its true values of ‘righteousness’ peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans. 14:17b).”

Potter was born in Roseau on 19 August 1921.

The WCC said he began his ecumenical involvement as part of the student Christian movement in the Caribbean. He was a youth representative to the first two assemblies of the WCC at Amsterdam (1948) and Evanston (1954). He was the first person from the newly independent countries in the world to be elected as general secretary of the WCC. Among the most memorable achievements during Potter’s tenure were the theological consensus document on Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry and the continuation of a courageous campaign against apartheid in southern Africa and against other forms of racism throughout the world.

The WCC also said he “made significant contributions to the vigorous debate on the nature of post-colonial Christian mission and evangelism, the churches’ witness for peace amidst East-West tensions, the raising of questions concerning the ecological crisis and encouragement of campaigns challenging the threat of nuclear annihilation. In this era the WCC also sponsored the development of new forms of spirituality, common prayer and music drawing on the diverse traditions and confessions of diverse churches.”

“Before joining the WCC, Potter served as staff of the Methodist Missionary Society in London. He represented the Jamaica Student Christian Movement at the 1947 world conference on Christian youth in Oslo, Norway. Potter was an active participant in every WCC assembly from 1948 to the 9th Assembly at Porto Alegre, Brazil (2006).”

The WCC represents over 350 protestant, Methodist, Anglican and orthodox catholic churches, with over half a billion adherents worldwide.

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  1. Francisco Telemaque
    April 8, 2015

    My faith and Catholic teaching tell me: No; not yet anyway, if you believe Our Lord Jesus Christ established One Church.(Facts).

    Admin, I am not trying to monopolized your site, but someone who knows a little bit of God word should let people like Facts know that the crap she is talking about Roman Catholic teaching, and where religion begins is total nonsense.

    In the place the word Catholic in the English Language simply denotes a foundation of churches. In Jesus day on earth, and A. D., there was no such thing as denominational names wherever a congregation met to worship God in Sprit and in truth, they were refer to as the church: Assuming some had something to say about a church in certain geographic location; as in Wesley, they would simply say “The Church in Wesley.

    People like Facts need to stop talking crap which makes no sense, helping to spread false doctrine!

  2. The Facts
    April 6, 2015

    Although much younger than he, I knew him and also knew of his first position. I also knew his mother. She was a nice lady and also well known in Roseau.
    Occasionally he would visit D/ca. It is some years that I had not heard about him.
    I hope a book is written about his life. This would give us an idea of his works and how much it benefited those who he represented worldwide.
    There are times some people’s achievements could make them haughty, adopting a greater and higher than thou attitude and placing themselves on such a pedestal than others. Those who are especially from humble beginnings forget about their previous environment and life and look down on the less fortunate.
    I hope he was a charitable person, not only in words but in works. Whatever his frailties, I hope God forgave him.

  3. April 5, 2015

    How did he help Black people what is so important about a man who accepted the slave master religion? Who did he pray to was it a jesus that was white with long hair? What did he do for Dominica.

  4. A Doubting Thomas
    April 4, 2015

    His work on Earth is done. God granted him a long life to do what he was put on this earth to do. My Sympathy to his loved ones and all those he reached and touched.

    May his Soul Rest In Peace.

  5. The Facts
    April 3, 2015

    A son of D/ca’s soil, he was an intelligent man who worked his way up, worked tirelessly and done well in his career. I hope he left something godly spiritual behind such as Christian unity although I have my doubts about this one.
    He now knows which Church is The One and Only True Church which Our Lord Jesus Christ established.
    Rest in peace.

    April 2, 2015


  7. Francisco Telemaque
    April 2, 2015

    “Who Appointed You God Over Us?” (Philip Potter).

    He spoke those words while preaching a sermon on the island of Barbados many years ago. That was during the era when all the organized religion preachers were selected out of France or England to dominate the congregation of the Caribbean of Anglicans, Roman Catholic’s, the and Methodists; when they acted as if they the white preachers as Europeans had a pipe line to God, and were ordained by God to rule over the Caribbean.

    Potter was a first the same as Dominica’s own Bishop Bowers, who spent a very long time in Accra Africa, and other places on the African continent, until recently, he took over the Roman Catholic diocese of Antigua, where I believed he died. (not certain).

    April 2, 2015

    He had such an UNFORGETTABLE influence on me especially during my studies at the University of Manchester, England in the closing decade of the 80’s when racism was still sooo rampant. He gave me the strength and dignity to continue and to really love my race.
    I will surely miss his laughter.

  9. Marcus Hill
    April 2, 2015

    DNO it’s Rev. Dr.

    Small but important. He was a Methodist Minister before he got his PhD.

    • Francisco Telemaque
      April 3, 2015

      So, after he got his PhD he was no longer a Methodists?

      There are lots of Methodist and other theologians, with PhD’s including Reuben Telemaque out of Wesley, the last time I visited with him in New London, he was still a Methodist Minister, who earned a PhD!

      A PhD means nothing more than a degree bestowed on an individual after the studied a certain discipline be it in math, English or any other at an advance level in a university, or four year college.

      It does not change the recipient from a normal human to someone superhuman!

      If you go to Wesley right now you may find Evans Dods (Dodds) a Methodist Minister who I understand insist on been called doctor, ( I doh know if its true), nevertheless, he may be called doctor not because he has a medical degree as in M. D., but I suppose he has a PhD in something, which might be theology!

  10. Nous Meme
    April 2, 2015

    A true Dominican hero! From his humble roots in Dominica to the world stage where he represented those with no voice. The world has lost a true champion of faith this holy week. May he rest in peace and may God bless all those he touched and taught.

    Amen and Amen.

  11. simbeart john
    April 2, 2015

    Is heaven rejoicing? Just curious!

    • The Facts
      April 3, 2015

      My faith and Catholic teaching tell me: No; not yet anyway, if you believe Our Lord Jesus Christ established One Church.
      Do you know how the others were formed who call themselves Protestants? There will be no Protestants in Heaven. God has to purge this out of them prior to entering the Pearly Gates. It is said that St. Peter is in charge of it. All who enter must qualify in holiness and unity prior to entering. Otherwise St. Peter will say, “Go back! You are not yet ready.” :lol:
      God created Purgatory which Protestants do not believe. It is there – in the Bible but they missed some of what He stated and also St. Paul’s.
      God will judge him. His soul will decide where he will go to, be it in Purgatory, temporarily. I hope at least this is where his soul is for now. Whenever anyone dies, I do say, I hope, at least their soul is in Purgatory. This is as much as we can say. We cannot say otherwise and be certain where else the soul is. God and the soul knows.

      • Francisco Telemaque
        April 8, 2015

        My faith and Catholic teaching tell me: No; not yet anyway, if you believe Our Lord Jesus Christ established One Church.(Facts).

        Facts, lady you are an idiot! Just because some homosexual roman catholic priest, or pope made the claim that a so called church originated in Rome is the true church, and Peter was the first pope, if you believe that, you are a disgusting fool!

        I do not have the time to set you straight, but remember the bible teaches, as many as believed on him (Jesus) to them gave he power to become the sons of God. Remember also, while someone was baptizing people in the name of Jesus, someone approached and told the disciple, There are people over there baptizing in Jesus name, the reply was if they do not baptize in Jesus name, in who’s name should they baptized?

        I wrote this in a way for you to understand, but the scriptures in regards are in the Bible: Remember also when Jesus was told; your mother and brothers are outside. He responded saying; he who…

  12. fantastic4
    April 2, 2015

    R.I.P a National, Regional and World ICON.

    He should be declared a National Hero – and while on that November 4th should be changed from Block-o-rama day to National Hero’s Day. It will have more significance and we can still do patriotic things on that day like community service etc but cancel that blockarama nonsense and lets start recognizing our Hero and role models.

    God Bless the Heros such as Jacko, Kalingo, Dr. Potter, Eugenia Charles, Rev Bowers etc and others and God Bless all of us too! one love

    • point
      April 2, 2015

      National Hero for what? What has he contributed to Dominica? The man died in Germany when last did he visit Dominica?

      • The Facts
        April 6, 2015

        In order to give him such an honor, it must first be determined what did he contribute to the Caribbean which also included D/ca and benefited them, especially his homeland, Dominica. Otherwise, as you feel, I would ask the identical question. The honor would be futile.
        There are many D/cans who contributed much to D/ca and who deserve recognition and honor. They do not have to be people of a certain status who possess degrees and hold certain positions.

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