In Mark 16:15, Jesus commands his disciples to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature knowing, as the Bible continues in verse 20, that in going forth and preaching everywhere, the Lord would work with them, confirming the word with signs following. In 2003 the late Honorable Bishop Michael J. Garrett received inspiration and instruction from God to do just that. Under the unction of the Holy Ghost, he expanded the missions work that he’d already begun in the country of Mexico and ventured south to the country of Belize. Acting swiftly upon hearing the voice of God, Bishop Garrett commissioned one of his senior ministers, now Suffragan Bishop Lafayette Boyd, to go and lay the groundwork. Suffragan Bishop Boyd first traveled to Belize in February 2004. The favor of the Lord was evident given that during his short trip, Suffragan Bishop Boyd was able to forge relationships with Belizean government, media, and ecclesiastical officials. Before his return to the States, he had established an apostolic broadcast with the Power Mix Radio station, began a cable television broadcast of Bishop Garrett’s Sunday morning services, planted a church in the town of Silkgrass, and implemented plans for a crusade.
Those plans were realized shortly thereafter, when Bishop Garrett along with a delegation comprising Suffragan Bishop Lafayette and Lady Ernese Boyd, Suffragan Bishop Paulette Douglas, District Elder Carolyn Strigglers and Sis Gail Williams, traveled to Belize city, Belmopan, and Dangriga to conduct a crusade. The hunger for Christ was palpable and the anointing of God was so heavy that by the crusades end, just under 100 souls had been baptized in Jesus’ name and received the gift of the Holy Ghost. So strong was the call of God to salvation that, rather than wait to change, many Belizeans were baptized in the Caribbean Sea in the dead of night while wearing their Sunday’s best and walked home speaking in tongues!
Missions work in Belize would continue for the next few years. The church planted by Suffragan Bishop Boyd would grow to a membership of around 85. However, in November of 2007, Bishop Michael Garrett suffered a massive stroke which threatened to stall his work on the mission field. Adamant that the work should continue despite his illness, Bishop Garrett charged the Honorable Bishop Leroy Horne to continue working with Bishop Garrett’s diocese in Baja California and Mexico, and instructed Suffragan Bishop Boyd to oversee the work in Belize. From the moment they received the charge up until the moment Bishop Garrett made his heavenly transition, Bishop Horne and Suffragan Bishop Boyd remained faithful to the work started by Bishop Garrett some 15 years earlier.
In autumn of 2014, the Honorable Bishop Charles H. Ellis III, presiding prelate of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the world, in his role as interim Diocesan of the California District Council, expanded the council into three dioceses. He charged the diocesan Bishops to continue the work of expansion. Heeding the charge of the Presider, the Honorable Bishop Donnie N. McGriff, the newly consecrated Bishop of the Southern California District Council went to work. He made significant strides in capturing new churches and cities within the territorial boundaries. However, he could not ignore Suffragan Bishop Boyd’s work in the country of Belize. Sensitive to the lack of an ecclesiastical covering for several independent Belizean churches, and acutely aware of the need for a formal PAW presence in Belize, Bishop McGriff established Region 6 of the Southern California District Council in the country of Belize and commissioned Suffragan Bishop Boyd to oversee it.
Suffragan Bishop Boyd now makes nearly monthly trips to the region, working tirelessly to maintain relationships with resident pastors and government officials, as well as cultivate the established churches. He recently purchased an acre of land in the country and plans are being made to build an edifice for the church he planted in 2004. As a result of his efforts, several other independent apostolic churches have indicated interest in fellowshipping with the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World.
Pentecost in Belize held its inaugural crusade in April 2019. The excitement in the country was palpable. By the end of the conference, over a dozen souls had received salvation. Not only that, but Pentecost in Belize partnered with local resource centers and was able to provide food, clothing, toiletries laptop computers, cell phones, and other necessities to some of the country's neediest.
The work in Belize continues, plans are in place and partnerships are being forged to bring true change to the country. It remains to be seen all of the marvelous things that God will do in that part of the vineyard.