Tucked alongside the site of the Department of Disaster Management’s new headquarters on McNamara Road is a peach-coloured office, and just to the left of the front door hangs a little sign designating the location of the Rev. Selwyn L. Vanterpool Christian Library.
Mr. Vanterpool died in 2021 following his retirement from 40 years of active itinerate service ministering throughout the region before eventually returning to his home in the Virgin Islands, where he continued working with the BVI Methodist Circuit.
Throughout his lifetime, he curated a love for books and for his community, and those two passions came together when he and his family decided to open a library for young ministers and the wider public, according to his widow, Brenda Vanterpool.
He began working toward opening the space in the 2010s. However, the passage of Hurricane Irma and his relocation to the United States for medical care hampered that dream, Ms. Vanterpool said.
At the beginning of this year, Ms. Vanterpool carried forward his vision and, with the help of friends, officially opened the facility.
The honey-toned wooden shelves of the cosy library contain a wide variety of biblical texts, sermon guides, interpretive works, biographies, and other resources for daily living like cookbooks and marital counselling.
It wasn’t easy getting the library up and running, Ms. Vanterpool said, especially considering the 2017 hurricanes tore apart the roof of the building, leaving only the wing where the library is located intact. However, she said she was motivated by Mr. Vanterpool’s love for sharing knowledge.
The library held an official grand opening on Jan. 24, and she said it has had a warm reception.
“People have been so excited,” she said. “Up to this morning, I’ve been walking down the road, and every time I do somebody is complimenting me and thanking me for doing this.”
Community members are welcome to visit from 10 a.m. to noon on Mondays and Tuesdays, 1-3 p.m. on Thursdays, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.
Ms. Vanterpool added that visitors are also welcome to inquire about alternative hours by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
She and Mr. Vanterpool met in seminary, got married, and spent many happy years traveling to Jamaica, Montserrrat, Antigua, Aruba, Dominica, St. Maarten, the United States VI — wherever they felt called by God to serve.
Now, she said she hopes the library continues to serve as inspiration for community members, especially up-and-coming ministers.