I was brought up in a Christian home with strong Christian values, even though my Dad was unsaved. My mother, grandparents, uncles and aunts who were actively involved in the Church of God of Prophecy, Maxfield Avenue, Jamaica have had a significant impact on my spiritual formation and transformation. My grandfather was a Deacon in the church before he was killed by a gunman in the community where he lived and ministered. My five siblings were all saved at an early age, but later my two brothers left the Lord. However, I do pray and encourage my brothers and Dad to return to the Lord. I am grateful to God that myself and my three sisters are still ardent and committed members of the Faith in Jesus Christ.
My mother always reminded me that from a child I used to pray for her whenever she was unwell and she would recover, and how I used to preach in the kitchen like the preachers of the time. She said that when I was asked to do the dishes I would use the plates as Tambourines and have church over the sink. All this she said was happening before I publicly committed my Life to Christ. I am very appreciative of my mother’s strong Christian influence on my upbringing.
There are two thoughts from my mother that I have used to guide me in life and they have made me both a better leader and husband.
I recall when I was courting my wife I used to spend hours on the phone with her and would give her special gifts thereby extending myself beyond the usual, my mother pointed out that whatever I start in courtship I should be prepared to continue doing so during marriage to secure a healthy marital relationship. Hence, to this date I will go the extra mile for my wife and family.
Secondly, during the period I progressed through the different levels of leadership and was appointed to different posts in church, my mother admonished me that I should be careful not to let position ‘get to my head’ and to remain humble before God. She stated, “When you humble yourself as you do the Lord’s work and if you should fall, you will drop with a slight ‘piff’ but you should not put yourself up on a pedestal, otherwise your drop will be a hard ‘booff’”. Thus, I have committed to do the work of the Lord whether I am appointed or not and remain humble before God in all I do.
The word of God declares in Proverbs 6:20-22, “My son, observe the commandment of your father And do not forsake the teaching of your mother; Bind them continually on your heart; Tie them around your neck. When you walk about, they will guide you; When you sleep, they will watch over you; And when you awake, they will talk to you.…
I was 14 years old when I publicly accepted Jesus Christ at the Maxfield Avenue church. And as I continued to pray and seek the Lord and live the life of Christ as a young Christian, one weekday after a full day at Kingston College High School in Jamaica, I went for the altar call in a service with just a few people and a service that would not be considered a fiery hot one, and with a simple prayer and someone praying with me I received the baptism of the Holy Ghost and spoke in another language.
Being at one of the most outstanding school in Kingston, I was motivated to do well as I pursued my studies in the Sciences. My performance affords me a place at one of the leading Teacher’s College in the Jamaica, Mico Teachers’ College. I started my training as a Mathematics and Science teacher as one of the youngest student at this college at age 16 years old. While studying at this college, I was voted in as the One in charge of the Christian activities in the college. My faith was deepened and I blossomed as a Christian during my 3 years of study, as many of my friends would come to me for advice and I was instrumental in winning the Student President to the Lord who became a member of the Church of God of Prophecy.
Even though I was a diligent student and keen to succeed I was always attending church. I was also a student at the Bible Training Institute, where I was voted in as the Student President for the three years of study. It was on reflection of my election as President for the three consecutive years and moreso by the fact that this election was mainly made by members who were senior people in age, in top jobs and senior leaders that I realized that God’s anointing and hand was on my life. With all my involvement in church I was awarded my Teaching Diploma and then went straight into my first job, a Mathematics and Science teacher at the Queens High School in Jamaica at age 19.
It is noteworthy of the clear hand of God in me getting into Mico Teachers’ College as I was the last person accepted on the course at age 16.
I then went onto the University of the West Indies and University of Wolverhampton in the Westmidlands, UK between 1995-2003 to complete Higher learning at the end of which I attained a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Accounts and Management Studies. And again my entry to my university was a testimony as God intervened to gain me registration outside of the ordinary even after being turned down for two consecutive years. During my time at University of West Indies I also completed a Bible course in Centre for Biblical Leadership.
And now I am currently completing my Dissertation for my Master’s Degree in Education.
The year 1999 was a unique and special year for ministry for me. I was made a license minister and was appointed as Associate Pastor at the Maxfield Avenue Church of God of prophecy in Jamaica. In this year also I was married to my lovely, tenderhearted wife, Poseda Langley and now have been so for 18 years. A year prior to this I was recruited as a Bible Tutor at the Leadership Development Institute in Jamaica, where we trained ministers, pastors and lay ministers to be qualified with the Foundation Course plus. I taught Introduction to Bible, Christian History and Basic English. I served in these capacities until August 2002 when I migrated to the UK to take up a Teaching post.
I was appointed as District Public Relations Director for 5 years prior to being appointed as District Youth Leader for the Parishes of Kingston and St Andrew, Jamaica for and was later appointed as National Youth Camp Director for 3 years until I migrated to the UK. At a local level I served as CPMA leader, Youth Life Team Leader, Public Relations Officer, Vacation Bible School Leader, Chairman for local church Kindergarten School, Bible study Co-ordinator, Children’s church leader, and Sunday School teacher.
Having arrived in the UK, I was appointed Assistant Pastor at the Aberdeen Street Church of God of Prophecy in 2008 and then sent to the church of 100 attendance, at George Street, Church of God of Prophecy to be their Senior Pastor. This church was soon merged with Small Heath Church of God of Prophecy where I now serve on the Pastoral team.
This merger was a very difficult road to tread but the experience deepens my resolve to serve God and build my leadership skills. For some they got bitter and stop working but for me I still committed myself to winning souls, Leadership Development and enriching lives. Subsequently, I was appointed Evangelism Strategic Leader for Region 4, a post I still hold today. This role affords me the privilege to work ecumenically with other denominations, ministering in retreats, conferences and launch the Evangelism Explosion Strategy in the local churches across the nation.
Quotes from Leaders across Pastoral Ministry
During my Pastoral ministry at Aberdeen Street and George Street the following leaders commented on my Pastoral Ministry. In the book of Romans, Paul the apostle commended Phoebe for her great servanthood and in 1 Corinthians he also spoke highly of Aquilla and Priscilla.
“Pastor Cleveland was very compassionate and had time for everyone. He had a heart for the people. They knew they could approach him no matter their situation or problem. He remained composed under pressure and undertook projects and events with passion and commitment.” Pastor Deseta Davis – Aberdeen Street COGOP
“Cleveland Perkins was a very valuable member of the pastoral team at Aberdeen Street.
As a coworker, he was a positive and courageous leader. He was actively involved in the outreach ministries and spearheaded a number of community initiatives. In addition to this he worked arduously within the prisons, ministering to inmates. He was loved by many and continues to inspire young leaders within the church community.”
Pastor Charles Matthews – Aberdeen Street COGOP
“I spent probably my best periods in Church to date under the pastoral leadership of Cleveland Perkins. It was in this period that I found my calling to teach and I was challenged with developing my gifts. The Church as a whole were actively working together and our progress was only stopped by our closure. But just in those short number of years Pastor was with us he left a lasting impact on our lives.” Leon Henry – Finance Chair- Former George Street COGOP
“During his short tenure in his first British pastorate at George Street COGOP, Minister Cleaveland Perkins came to the helm of this progressive youth filled church and began to charter the church into new spiritual waters. His ministry along that of his wife, secured the insecure, brought strength to the weak, vision to the spiritually blind and gave voice to those who were previously silent. Chains were broken, ministries were both born and resurrected as we set sail to become a more relevant Twenty First century church within our constituency and the wider kingdom of God. Sadly after such a short period of time our church was merged with another local church body and as such he was no longer presiding as pastor. One can only sit back and reflect on what pleasant memories we had and what was yet to be accomplished by the power of the Holy Spirit working through this mighty man of God.” Pastor Lesburne Easie – Former George Street COGOP
“Pastor Perkins is an excellent and dynamic minister of the gospel and in the Kingdom of God. My experience of his ministry is one that I’ll never forget. One that I think is very potent as a minister, is being able to resolve conflict. He’s very passionate about the souls of men and therefore seeks tpo do whatever ia allowed by God to reach others with the gospel and to cultivate growth and maturity in Christ. Furthermore, he seeks to equip the saints for the work of the ministry”.
Sis Nicole Sutherland –Worship Team Leader – Former George Street COGOP
Family and Marriage
My family is on my top priority and so I seek to maintain a healthy, harmonious relationship with my wife Poseda and our son Jonathan Perkins. My wife is very supportive of my ministry and always pray and work alongside me. However, I do make every effort to support her personal ministry as well. Poseda worked with me as the Assistant Pastor at the former George Street church. She is equally passionate and committed to do the work of the ministry with Excellence.
My son Jonathan is very dear to us both as his birth was a miracle as stated by the surgeon on the day of his birth. Jonathan had a difficult birth but amidst all, he survived. All these testimonies have truly made us sold ourselves to the building of God’s Kingdom. For Jonathan, I do pray that he will become a prophet for his generation and we are seeking to train him with intent to be a true man of God with integrity and love.
Goals and Aspiration
I have committed myself to the building of the Kingdom of God, transforming lives, building communities, building our church body and winning souls for the Kingdom.
Whilst I seek to work diligently for the Lord, I am more conscious of maintaining a relationship with my God. My favourite scripture that guides my Christian walk, clearly admonishes Luke 21:19, “In your patience possess ye your souls.”
I would also like to do the leaders of Leaders Course and complete a Doctorate Degree in Theology.
I would love to see my son succeed in life and achieve a good Education.
I pray for God’s full direction on my life.