Rev Dr Oliver Lyseight – Blue Plaque Unveiling


Friday September 20, 2013 will mark a historically important date in Wolverhampton’s history. The first unveiling of a Blue Plaque in recognition of the service of a citizen from the local Black and minority ethnic communities in the City will take place.

There will be a celebration service and Commemorative Blue Plaque unveiling ceremony for the late Rev. Dr. Oliver A. Lyseight who was a founding member and First Leader of the New Testament Church of God (UK).

Rev. Dr. Lyseight has been recognised by the Wolverhampton Civic & Historical Society for this award for his service to the New Testament Church of God and the Community at large, locally and nationally.

Dr. Lyseight was voted joint 2nd in the 100 Great Black Britons survey (2004).

Many dignitaries including the Jamaican High Commissioner, Her Excellency Aloun Ndombet Assamba, Patrick Vernon OBE, David Bennett Chairman for Black Local History & Cultural Archives Project, local MPs, representatives of Wolverhampton Civic & Historical Society and leaders of the New Testament Church of God.

Various Gospel artists will be performing at the ceremony.

During Dr. Lyseight’s term in office:

  • National administrative structures were put in place
  • The legal and charitable status of the Church was firmly established
  • Solicitors, accountants and auditors were appointed
  • District/local structures were established
  • Bible training institutes and regional branches were established
  • Numerous church buildings/manses were purchased
  • Missionaries were sent/supported in West Africa
  • Scores of ministers were trained, ordained and released into ministry at home and abroad
  • He was a Founding Father of the Afro West Indian United Council of Churches and a prominent voice in the work of Ecumenism in the wider church movement
  • By virtue of his work, our church is now firmly established in Scotland and the Republic of Ireland.

The Rev. Eric A. Brown FRSA (Administrative Bishop) pays tribute to Dr. Lyseight:

Dr. Lyseight was a man with a confident faith in God and His Word. He was full of the Holy Spirit and this made him a bold, confident, courageous leader. He could be gentle and he could be bruising. He was selfless and compassionate. He was full of wisdom, a mentor and a motivator.

He had the ability to see the potential in ordinary people and the wisdom to provide opportunities for them to fulfil their purpose. He was courageous and decisive in his decision-making and would not back away from a ‘fight’ if he knew he was right.

Dr. Lyseight dignified the ministry and yet he never lost the common touch. I personally recall him visiting my wife and I in our one-bedroom apartment in Germany whilst we were there studying.

The abiding memory is not only of him having tea with us but of his addressing me in first name terms, Eric. He belonged to all of us and yet he was no man’s debtor. His abiding legacy will be that of a great leader, a champion of Christ and His Church."

Patrick Vernon OBE founder of 100 Great Black Britons stated:

The date of the unveiling coincides with the establishment of the first meeting of the church in Wolverhampton exactly 60 years ago. This recognition happened as result of my campaign 10 year on 100 Great Black Britons where he was voted joint second with Bishop Wood.

I made the case to the Wolverhampton Civic and Historical Society who are designing and installing the plaque that he should be recognised at a meeting that I was presenting during Black History Month last year. Thus also being born in Wolverhampton it feels a real achievement to contribute to this successful outcome."

The unveiling also supports the campaign around recognition of Windrush Day as an annual event of the Caribbean and other migrant communities’ contribution to Britain

Background information on Rev Dr Oliver Lyseight

Dr. Lyseight was born on Thursday December 11, 1919 in the district of Claremont, Hanover Parish, Jamaica.

He was the fourth child in a family with twelve children. Oliver Lyseight was brought up in the Methodist tradition. He excelled in his school years and his favourite subjects were arithmetic, art, geography and science,

Dr. Lyseight first came into contact with the Church of God in 1935. He did not formally join the Church until 1939.

Dr.Lyseight began his Ministry work in Jamaica in 1941. After working as a ‘War Food Administration Worker’ in the USA during World War 2, returned to continue his Ministry work in Jamaica. He became a Licensed Minister in 1946.

Dr. Lyseight came to Britain in 1951 on board the ship ‘Britannica’, arriving at Liverpool Docks on November 8, 1951.

Dr. Lyseight died after a long illness, at West Park Hospital on February 28, 2006.

OBV reporter