Reverend Wilbur Outten, Freeport Bible Church (FBC) senior pastor transitioned from this earthly realm into eternal rest this past Sunday, January 15, 2017 following a bravely fought battle against a debilitating illness within the past several months.
Revered throughout The Bahamas for his charismatic evangelical-style of delivering the Gospel, Rev. Outten, toiled in the vineyard of Christ for more than 30 years and will be fondly remembered by leaders across Grand Bahama as a mighty clergyman, who along with his wife Barbara and children have overcome many challenges. Described as a wise minister, faithful husband, loving father, family man and educator as well as a trailblazer whom Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Emrick Seymour declared has always been an honest, law abiding leader, community servant and friend of law enforcement officers.
Free National Movement (FNM) Deputy Leader and East Grand Bahama Member of Parliament K. Peter Turnquest offered condolences to Rev. Outten’s widow Minister Barbara Outten, his children, family and FBC membership stating, “The death of Rev. Outten marks a tremendous loss to the community of Grand Bahama and by extension the entire Bahamas.
“Rev. Outten he proved a true professional in the airline industry in his early life and accepted his call as a pastor with humility and a spirit of determined dedication.
“His leadership and accomplishments at Freeport Bible Church are legendary. His work for God and the people of God stands remarkable. Pastor Wilbur Outten was a builder. His devotion and commitment extended beyond the walls of his church; his pulpit embraced and inspired communities near and far.
“He was a loving husband, caring father, forthright and strong religious leader and great citizen of the world. In truth, Pastor Wilbur Outten can never really die. The growth of Freeport Bible Church, its school, his memorable sermons and teachings and active outreach will forever be with present and future generations. A great man has arrived at his heavenly home. He will truly be missed.
“On my own behalf, my family, and the Free National Movement, I extend heartfelt condolences to his wife, his entire family, his congregation and friends. May his soul rest in peace and rise in glory.”
Jubilee Cathedral senior pastor Bishop Godfrey R. Williams expressed his sympathies on the loss of Rev. Outten noting that the late reverend played an integral role in the formulation of the Pastors’ Forum.
Renowned clergymen from throughout the Grand Bahama community representing various Christian denominations comprise the membership of the Pastors’ Forum in which the late Rev. Outten certainly exercised his faith, expertise as well as mutual love and respect for the Gospel and compliance with the law to cultivate a successful partnership with the RBPF that help many at-risk youth redirect their troubling habits.
According to Bishop Williams, “Firstly, I extend condolences to the family of the late Rev. Wilbur Outten and the Freeport Bible Church congregation.
“He certainly was a trailblazer and a wonderful man of God, who was anointed and left behind an inspirational legacy in this community.
“My prayers and that of my wife Lady Iris Williams, children and the congregation of St. John’s Jubilee Cathedral goes out to all Rev. Outten’s loved ones in this time of bereavement.
“Rev. Outten was definitely a visionary, who has helped so many people and families throughout the Grand Bahama community and The Bahamas at large.
“He always encouraged our youth to take advantage of all educational opportunities afforded to them as well as to be positive contributors to the development of this island and nation and believed in utilizing the blueprint of life, which is the Bible to uplift hearts, help lost soul find Christ and live a successful life in this earthly realm by putting God first.
“Rev. Outten’s service in the Gospel ministry spans more than three decades, he was always humble and believed in empowering everyone to live their best life now for Christ, as he understood that there is only one life and it will soon be past but only that which is done for the Lord will last.
“I thank God for all He has done in Rev. Outten’s life and the fact that he led by example demonstrating success throughout Christ in all aspects of his life which allowed him to build Freeport Bible Church debt-free and what he has done in this community will never be forgotten.
“Both Rev. Outten and I worked closely in the Grand Bahama Ministerial Alliance for many years and he worked diligently to encourage all pastors and ministers of the gospel to prepare themselves for retirement to allow upcoming leaders to fulfill their assignment in the plan of God.
“Definitely, I am saddened by Rev. Outten’s passing, however I am confident that he has fought a good fight and I pray God’s best would continues reign in the lives of his wife, children, siblings and Freeport Bible Church.”
Reverend H. Lindy Russell, Mt. Zion Baptist Church senior pastor also expressed his heartbreak on the passing of Rev. Outten whom he said played an instrumental role in his life as a brother in Christ and a friend.
Praying that the late Rev. Outten’s wife, children and church family get through this most difficult and sorrowful time through the love of the community, which he gave so much to, Rev. Russell thanked his late friend and ministerial colleague for assisting with the development of the West Grand Bahama Library during his time at the helm of the Pastors’ Forum.
“Heartfelt sympathies are extended to the family of the late Rev. Wilbur Outten, who has played a vital role in the Gospel and the development of the Grand Bahama community.
“Thanks to Rev. Outten the West Grand Bahama Library was established in 2011 and before his passing members of the Pastors’ Forum along with executives of the West Grand Bahama Youth Development Association had planned to rename the library in his honor for all he has done to help this community.
“On behalf of my wife Minister Nell Russell, my children, the congregation of Mt. Zion Baptist Church, the West Grand Bahama Youth Development Association and the Pastors’ Forum we extend condolences to Rev. Outten’s family as he certainly was a giant of a man and true son of the most high God.
“Personally, I consider the late Rev. Wilbur Outten to be a National Hero, as he has done so much for this community much of which he kept under wraps but I wish to attribute II Samuel 3:38 to him, as it states, “And the king said to his servants, “Do you not know that a prince and a great man has fallen this day in Israel?”
“Truly the Grand Bahama community, the Bahamas and the body of Christ mourns the loss of Rev. Outten, who was a prince and a great man, a son of the Jones Town, Eight Mile Rock soil who has built up this entire island from west to east over the past 30 years and whose example of good Christian values and love must not be forgotten,” declared Rev. Russell.
Published Thursday, January 19, 2017