It is with great sadness that we share the passing of Pastor Gordon O. Martinborough. He departed peacefully in the arms of his wife Waveney, surrounded by the voices and love of his children: Esther, Samuel, and John. He was 84 years old.
Gordon Ornsley Martinborough was born on November 12, 1936 in Georgetown, Guyana. His father, Gordon Sr. was a policeman; and his mother, Maisie was a housewife. He was the eldest of four children. Gordon was a responsible child, helping to take care of his younger siblings: Shirley, Patrick, and Dolly. He was also a deeply spiritual and participated in church activities from a young age.
In 1961, Gordon Martinborough completed the Theology Course at Caribbean Union College (now University of Southern Caribbean) and returned to serve as a Pastor in the Guyana Conference of Seventh Day Adventists.
Gordon fell deeply in love with Waveney Hinds while they were both students at CUC. They were married on April 17, 1963 and were partners in ministry and happily married for 58 years.
Pastor Martinborough transformed the face of evangelism. He placed sermon outlines in the hands of ministers and laypeople alike, baptizing thousands in Guyana and, as he refined his methodology, throughout the Caribbean and the world. During the intense speaking schedule in Guyana, Pastor Martinborough lost his voice (probably from answering the call of his initials GO Marti...) and he travelled to Loma Linda Hospital to receive medical treatment.
While there, he took the opportunity to complete a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and History (1972), and Master of Arts in Church History (1976). His thesis: "The beginnings of a theology of the Sabbath among American Sabbatarian Adventists, 1842-1850" is considered a standard reference for researchers in Adventist studies.
After graduation, he returned to Guyana, and was elected President of the Guyana Conference in 1980, President of the Caribbean Union Conference in 1991, and Vice-President of the Inter-American Division in 1995.
During this phase of his life, his contributions included University of Southern Caribbean Board of Directors Chairman, increasing college enrollment from around 300 in 1991 to over 1000 in 1995, negotiations with the Trinidad & Tobago Government resulting in the cancellation of $12,000,000 debt in 1994, and publishing the Caribbean and West Indies Union bestseller "I Love You".
In 2005, after retiring from the Inter-American Division, Pastor Martinborough founded Happy Family Bible Seminars International with his wife Waveney Martinborough, bringing his innovative brand of evangelism to the global community. He used the Bible to provide real answers to questions on almost every topic, pairing biblical principles with practical tools for healthy living, enduring marriage, fulfilling sex life, budgeting, financial planning, effective child rearing and more. Programs focusing on physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing aired on 3ABN, Safe TV, Hope TV and LLBN. In 2018, the University of Southern Caribbean granted Pastor Martinborough an Honorary Doctorate in Religion.
During his life, Dr. Martinborough broke down barriers of race and culture, using the simple principles of Jesus - first address a person's needs and then show them God. His books and materials have been translated into Spanish, French, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Burmese and used around the world, in the Caribbean, South America, Korea, Philippines (where tens of thousands were baptized) and in Caribbean-American, African American and Caucasian Conferences across the USA.
Even through his many accomplishments, pioneering efforts and high level of leadership, Gordon Martinborough was such a humble person who placed ministry and others above himself. His vision, drive and determination are balanced by his laughter, warm personality, creativity and joy. He mentored with love, brilliance, and a unique insight into God.
We thank God for his wonderful life that was infused with so much joy and light. He was powerful in ministry, humble in spirit, and infectious with warmth and laughter. He is a shining example of what God can do with lives that are completely surrendered to Him. May his soul rest in peace.
Gordon Martinborough is preceded in death by his parents, and brother Patrick Martinborough. He is survived by his wife Waveney, whom he called his "soul mate"; three children, Dr. Esther Biamonte, her husband Dr Marco Biamonte, Samuel and John Martinborough; sister Dr. Shirley McGarrell, her husband Dr Roy McGarrell and his best friend; sister Dolly Teixeira, her husband Clement Teixeira; and a host of cousins, nephews and nieces. We thank you all for the countless prayers and expressions of sympathy and love.
Funeral services will be held in person and live streamed on Sunday, August 8, 2021 at Spring Meadows SDA Church, 5783 N. Ronald Reagan Blvd, Sanford, FL 32773 at 2 pm EDT. The family will identify ministries where donations can be made in lieu of flowers.
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