Douglas Senior, Beloved Leader in Jamaica Mennonite Church, Dies at 75

Posted on March 31, 2022 by VMMissions Staff

Douglas B. Senior, longtime Jamaican leaderDouglas B. Senior (known as Bro. Dougie), a beloved long-time leader in the Jamaica Mennonite Church, died March 21 in Kissimmee, Fla., where he was living while receiving medical treatment. He was 75. His home was in Kingston, Jamaica.

Pastor Senior’s experience as a successful businessman made a great contribution to the development and significant ministry of the Maranatha School for the Deaf. Participants on service teams to the school will remember meeting Douglas, especially the teams that rebuilt the school following severe damage caused by Hurricane Ivan in 2004.

Jamaica Mennonite Church president William George Broughton comments about Senior’s life of service: “Pastor Douglas Senior was a baptized member of the Jamaica Mennonite Church for more than fifty years. He served the church well, as Associate Pastor, Church board member, deacon, and Sunday School teacher at Good Tidings Mennonite Church. Pastor Senior served the Council of Management as Treasurer, Administrator, Vice President, and team member of the Pastoral Teams at Bethel, Ridge and Good Tidings Mennonite Churches. He also served for more than twenty-five years as board member of the Maranatha School for the Deaf in St. Elizabeth. Pastor Senior represented the Jamaica Mennonite Church as delegate to the Virginia Mennonite Annual Conference, the Annual General Assembly of Mennonite Church Trinidad and Tobago, and the Centenary celebration of Virginia Mennonite Missions.”

Broughton goes on to express the following: “Pastor Senior’s bi-vocational lifestyle has impacted my life, as a model of how his Christian commitment impacted his corporate and vocational worlds, where he was known to be a fearless defender of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He has created and left footprints in the sand of time.”

Hope and Douglas Senior visited with Galen and Gloria Lehman in Florida this past January.
Hope and Douglas Senior visited with Gloria and Galen Lehman in Florida this past January. Photo courtesy of Galen and Gloria Lehman

Douglas B. Senior was born in Stanmore, a rural district near where Maranatha School for the Deaf was located. In his early years, Warren Metzler, a Mennonite missionary serving in Jamaica, invited him to move to Kingston for theological training. The Metzlers recognized his ability to learn and share God’s Word.

He married Hope Sydna Forrest and together they raised two children—a daughter, Peta-gay, currently living with her husband in Gabon, Africa, where she is employed as an airline pilot; and a deaf son, Gregory, who lives with his wife in Kingston and works in the family business. They have four grandchildren.

Galen and Gloria Lehman, former VMMissions workers in Jamaica and later the Caribbean Regional Director and Assistant, noted that their friendship with Pastor Senior began in 1981. “We cherished his warm personality, commitment to integrity, his deep prayer life, dignified commanding presence, and strong Christian faith, making him an excellent church leader,” they shared. “He will be deeply missed by his wife, family, fellow church members, and the many dear friends he made in Virginia. Bro. Douglas is enjoying heaven in the presence of his Savior. Thank you, Bro. Dougie, for sharing your life with us.”

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