May 31, 2018
North Caribbean Conference/IAD
More than 400 Seventh-day Adventists returned to worship at their Philadelphia Adventist Church in St. Thomas, on Sabbath, May 19, 2018, after the sanctuary church was destroyed with the passage of Hurricane Irma in Sep. 2017. [Photo Credit by Glen Cross.]
Eight months after Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc on the Philadelphia Adventist Church building in St. Thomas, worshipers returned for services in the lower level of the church on Sabbath, May 19, 2018.
Since the category-5 storm hit last September, the 1,400-member Philadelphia church merged with Shiloh Adventist Church, which did not suffer significant damage. The merger fostered a stronger relationship between the two congregations.
When asked about the working relationship, Pastor Jerry Languedoc of the Shiloh church said he is happy to share the ministry with Pastor Glendon Cross of the Philadelphia Church.
“Pastor Cross has been given a key to the church and we share, equally, the services to allow the participation of all,” said Pastor Languedoc. “Both church choirs merge to fill the sanctuary with praise on Sabbath and the uniform groups share ministry on Sabbaths.”
“The worship services have been inspiring,” said Pastor Glendon Cross. “Pastor Languedoc and [the Shiloh] congregation have been very accommodating and we have worked out a relationship that has benefited both congregations and the ministry.”
“It’s quite a model for ministry that has been going on,” commented Pastor Desmond James, president of the North Caribbean Conference (NCC). “The members have bonded and the ministry is rich and services are great. Nonetheless, because the members have different needs, it is important that they provide ministry to the membership.”
Leaders said they are not sure when the sanctuary of the Philadelphia Adventist Church will be completely repaired but is in the process of getting plans for rebuilding. Worship services will continue to be at the fellowship hall in the lower level.