Devon Dick | Horatio Malcolm an unsung Baptist
Horatio Ezekiel Malcolm accomplished much quietly. Very early in his life, he devoted his life as a missionary. His first missionary journey was to British Guiana (Guyana). In those days, Guyana had many jungles and some missionaries went missing. Nevertheless, Malcolm offered sacrificial service to spread the gospel of God’s love for all humans.
According to his niece, Janice, Malcolm was typical of the Jamaicans who grew up in the 1920s and 1930s. It was a time of Jamaicans agitating for self-determination and better working conditions. These Jamaicans had high expectations for Jamaica and themselves. They were hard-working, humble and honest. They believed in service to others. Their values were informed by a Christian world view and captured in biblical verses such as ‘it is better to give than to receive’ and ‘what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul’.
Malcolm was confident but not ‘boasy’. He took pride in his modest possessions. He was not addicted to materialism or consumerism.
Malcolm was mild-mannered and of a gentle disposition. He was good-natured and jovial, often laughing and chuckling. He was soft-spoken, pleasant and a good conversationalist – always ready to engage in a lively discussion. He wore a warm smile, gave a firm handshake and had a hug for everyone. His gift was to make people with whom he interacted feel special and appreciated. He was an encourager and empowered people to accomplish any task. Lotoya Robinson, long-standing member of Barbican Baptist, said ‘’No matter how grumpy, miserable, stressed out or antisocial you felt on a specific morning, seeing Rev Malcolm’s smile and receiving his hugs and a peck on the cheek with a ‘how are you?’ always made you smile . . .” Malcolm loved people and cared for people, hence he established the Saturday morning Soup Kitchen programme at Barbican Baptist, which feeds many people.
This Cornwall College alumnus represented his school at football and track and field with distinction. As a footballer, his nickname was ‘Tassy’, so named after the outstanding Haitian footballer, Antione Tassy. From high-school days, he was intellectually inquisitive and inquiring. He was committed to education as a valuable tool and attended the University of the West Indies in the late 1960s.
Malcolm was a member of Barbican Baptist church for 40 years. There he was a good and passionate leader, respected by all. He served in many capacities, including class leader and a chorister. There was no task too menial for him. He transported believers to church on a Sunday and to other church events.
Perhaps Malcolm will be best remembered for the establishment of a Baptist church in Golden Spring, St Andrew. It was started in 1992. Verice Fox, of the Golden Spring Baptist Church, said, “He can be considered the bedrock in its development from a mission to a church. He worked assiduously in the establishment of all ministries.” Some persons told him that it could not work or he was working too hard. However, he pressed on. And Malcolm did all of this while he was not an accredited minister of religion within the Jamaica Baptist Union. He was an unsung Baptist who did much to the glory of God and the maturing of the body of Christ.
Malcolm was married to Miss Banhan, a former mathematics teacher, for 45 years.
Janice remarked that Malcolm had a deep Christian faith and challenged the congregation that it is “by a saving faith in Jesus Christ are we assured of being in heaven with Christ . . .”
Rev Devon Dick is pastor of the Boulevard Baptist Church in St Andrew. He is author of ‘The Cross and the Machete’, and ‘Rebellion to Riot’. Send feedback to columns@ gleanerjm.com.