October 8, 2015 | Montego Bay, Jamaica | Lawrie Henry/IAD
One hundred and twenty-five Seventh-day Adventists, groups, churches and organizations were recognized for exemplary service during the 125th Anniversary Celebration of Adventism in Jamaica, this past weekend. The event drew thousands of church members to the Seventh-day Adventist Conference Centre in Montego Bay, on Oct. 3, 2015.
The awardees were selected for their efforts in various ministries of the church, namely publishing, education, health, community service, pastoral ministry, youth and evangelism and drawn from the more than 740 congregations island-wide along with the churches two Institutions – Andrews Memorial Hospital (AMH) and Northern Caribbean University (NCU).
Pastor Everett Brown, president of the church in Jamaica thanked all those who have dedicated their lives to furthering the work of the church on the island.
“These awardees exemplify the zeal, the labor, the dedication to duty that makes the church, the remnant church of God, this Seventh-day Adventist church the bastion that it is today,” said Pastor Brown.
In addition to the 125 awardees, 8 others received special awards and four students received scholarships to NCU.
The oldest living baptized member in Jamaica, 103-year-old Adassa Henry Johnson, received a special award for her faithful and dedicated service. Johnson got baptized at 10 years of age and served in youth ministry and community outreach while she was active during her 93-year church membership. She was unable to attend but spoke at the ceremony through a video interview.
“I feel happy, I can say glory! From I was a small girl coming up I just love my church. The Lord provided every way for us, I was glad that many more could live and serve the Lord in Adventism,” Johnson said.
Since Adventism was introduced to the island in 1890, members of the church and its institutions have contributed widely to national development through the delivery of health services in institutional and community efforts, delivery of education through a university, high, preparatory and basic schools and community services through the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA). Church members have also been notable public servants.
Speaking at the ceremony, Pastor Leon B. Wellington, vice president for the church in Inter-America, a native of Jamaica and former president of the church on the island thanked all who have helped the church in its work in Jamaica.
“To all members, non-members and businesses who have supported us during our annual ingathering campaign the proceeds of which are used for community support – you are a part of the team and the successes we celebrate today of having achieved 125 years,” said Pastor Wellington.
“We have been blessed with your gifts and talents in so many remarkable ways. It has not been 125 years of idleness or just serving ourselves. We have been getting our hands dirty as we seek to uplift humanity physically, socially, emotionally and yes, spiritually” he added.
Church members in Jamaica will repair and beautify the 172 police stations on the island later this month as part of several activities to mark its 125th year of Adventism in Jamaica.
In addition, the church will host a grand anniversary expo, health fair and heritage quiz competition next month on the campus of the church’s Northern Caribbean University in Mandeville, Jamaica.
For more on the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica, visit jmunion.org