Rev. Canon Thomas Nisbett, OBE

First Black Anglican Priest to serve in Bermuda

1925 - Present

Canon Thomas Nisbett overcame institutional resistance and roadblocks with his ordination in 1963 as Bermuda’s first black Anglican priest.

He was baptised into the AME church, but has been active in the Anglican Church since the age of eight when he became a choirboy at St. Monica’s Mission. He later served as an altar boy, becoming a lay reader at age 16.

A carpenter by trade, Canon Nisbett also served in the Bermuda Military Artillery. He was married to wife Winfred and a father when he embarked on studies for the priesthood at Codrington College in Barbados. He served at St. John’s Church, Pembroke and was the long-time rector of Christ Church, Devonshire.

Canon Nisbett, who was honorary chairman of the Anti-Apartheid Group during the 1980s, paved the way for others.

In 2012, his legacy was cemented with the launch of the Canon Thomas and Winifred Nisbett Lectures in Biblical Studies at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity.