Article by S.E. DaVida Plummer and Elder Samuel J. Eaves, II
The Sentara BelleHarbour campus in Suffolk broke ground on a second medical building on Tuesday, May 2, 2017.
Highlights from the groundbreaking ceremony include the following:
Chief Rabbi Phillip E. McNeil prayed for the success of the expansion and the ultimate healing and service that will take place at the Sentara BelleHarbour campus. The warm and inviting tone set by Chief Rabbi McNeil will long be remembered for all blessed to experience his words.
Dr. Steve Julian, President of Sentara Obici Hospital greeted the invited guests with heartfelt expressions of gratitude to the global congregation of The Church of God and Saints of Christ/Temple Beth El. Drawing on inspiration from Jeremiah 29:11, Dr. Julian took the time to reference the history of the original purchase of the land beneath the medical complex. He acknowledged Prophet William Saunders Crowdy’s vision for the acreage and thanked Chief Rabbi Phillip E. McNeil and the Temple Beth El administration for the dedicated efforts, prayers and patience that cleared the way for the $34 million expansion slated for completion in late 2018.
Mr. Howard Kern, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sentara Healthcare, echoed the sentiment of gratitude to the Church of God and Saints of Christ and to Chief Rabbi Phillip E. McNeil that filled the air under the big white tent. Kern highlighted how as partners Sentara and COGASOC share a mission of community service that will be of great benefit to the City of Suffolk.
When Chief Rabbi Phillip E. McNeil stepped to the microphone, the audience was taken by his spiritual presence. Chief Rabbi McNeil reminded all assembled of the depth of history in the sacred soil that is “Canaan Land.” (The full text of his prepared comments is below.)
The 85,000 square foot facility will feature an ambulatory surgery center with two operating rooms, an expanded emergency department, 14 observation beds for emergency and surgery patients, new medical office space and a helipad.
Groundbreaking Sentara BelleHarbour Expansion May 2, 2017
Remarks by Chief Rabbi Phillip E. McNeil
I am giving thanks and praise to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob for permitting us to assemble this morning on this momentous occasion.
It is an honor to share the podium with these distinguished colleagues: Honorable Mayor of Suffolk: Linda Johnson; Honorable House of Delegates Member: Chris Jones; President of Sentara Health Care: Howard Kern; President of Sentara Obici Hospital: Dr. Steve Julian. I am also pleased to acknowledge representatives of my congregation: Elder Ezra Locke, Elder Eric Miller, and my distinguished Elder Emeritus: Elder Judah Roberts.
One of my favorite scriptures goes like this:
I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. (Psalm 27:13)
That scripture is certainly appropriate for us here today, for surely we are about to see the goodness of the LORD today on this land on which we are sitting, this land that we call Canaan, as we contemplate this historic expansion planned for the Sentara BelleHarbour Medical Center.
This land has seen its share of “the goodness of the LORD” dating back to 1903 when it was divinely bequeathed, as we proclaim, to the founder of our congregation Prophet William Saunders Crowdy. Since 1903, the land has been a blessing, down through the years, to many who crossed its paths.
In recent years, under the mantel of BelleHarbour Development, this land has seen renewed development activity. One of the crown jewels of this new development is the Sentara BelleHarbour Medical Center. Ground was broken for Sentara BelleHarbour in the year 2007. And now, some 10 years later, through the continued “goodness of the LORD in the land of the living”, we break ground today for this magnificent expansion. This expansion with its multiplicity of services will be an additional blessing of healing, comfort, and wellness for the residents of this community for generations to come.
And now on behalf of my congregation and our tabernacles around this country and in Africa and Jamaica (They all benefit from this facility when they journey to Canaan Land.), I want to thank< Sentara Health Care for this outstanding investment in BelleHarbour and the Suffolk Community. I pray for God’s richest blessings on the construction of this new facility and I pray for the hastening of the day that it will be open to the public.
In the name of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, I pray. Amen.