Barbuda’s first COVID-19 related death identified as 64-year-old Moses John


Requiem for Pastor Mo

Barbudan – Husband – Father – Grandfather – Brother – Uncle – Cousin – Godfather – Friend – Pastor – Teacher – Farmer – Chef.


A requiem is a mass for the repose of the soul of the dead. Today, Barbudans prepare for the requiem of Pastor Moses John – the first Barbudan to succumb to the dreaded coronavirus, COVID 19.


Pastor Moses John, popularly known as Pastor Mo or Brother Mo, was a man of God who loved Barbuda with all his heart. Pastor Mo was a gifted man with many talents. Though he will be remembered as the Pastor of The People’s Church and as the Head of the Barbuda Council’s Agriculture, Lands and Forestry Department; he gave so much more. Brother Mo was a Chef at the Sunset Hotel, a farmer and one who would feed anyone who crossed his door. There was no Barbudan, Antiguan, Guyanese, Jamaican, Vincentian or Dominican who chose to live in Barbuda who wasn’t welcomed by the warmth and generosity of Pastor Mo. He was a Caribbean Barbudan. He believed in an inclusive Barbuda that’s led by Barbudans. He stoically reminded Barbudans of the importance of working our land together, because that is how we survived and will continue to do so.


He was a sharp dresser. He loved to sing. He had a strong and convincing voice. His humor was unmatched. Pastor Mo could put a smile on any face, even in the most difficult of times.


His church – our church – The People’s Church is one of the longest serving worship sanctuaries in Barbuda. It has filled the role of being one of the island’s designated hurricane shelters for years. After the passage of hurricane Irma in 2017, Pastor Mo was very instrumental in persuading the Samaritan’s Purse to set up camp in Barbuda to kick start our recovery. In fact, the first building to be tarped by the Samaritan’s Purse was The People’s Church. Pastor John offered his church as a sanctuary for our community to meet, share information, deliberate and recover during those difficult times. It was Pastor John who offered his church to house daily primary and secondary school lessons to children living in Barbuda after hurricane Irma.


As we prepare to say goodbye to this son of the soil, we are watching a nightmare come to life. The tentacles of the corona virus have now firmly taken root in our Barbuda and our cry for restitution intensifies.


Today, as Barbudans we mourn the loss of Pastor Moses John. A good man, who loved Barbuda with all of his heart. In reflection, Pastor Moses needs no requiem. He ran his race well, kept his faith and is now receiving his heavenly reward.


Instead, let us resolve to honor his life by doing better. Let us push – for each person to go out and get vaccinated, for all COVID 19 health and safety protocols to be followed and strictly enforced, to halt all work activity on island for two weeks in an effort to abate the spread of the virus in the village, to have the lone hospital in Barbuda equipped with a functioning ventilator and a more tailored vaccine education and awareness campaign that remedy’s the fears of the masses.

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  1. Sleep on ’til Resurrection Morning. May you get to hear “well done good and faithful servant…” from your Master Elohim.

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