Wed | Jan 16, 2019

Journey into Jamaica's heritage

Published:Sunday | October 8, 2017 | 12:00 AM

We continue our journey delving into the rich history of Jamaica, today we find out about the Silver Commemorative Candelabrum.

Silver Commemorative Candelabrum - East Queen Street Baptist Church,1846.

The ornate Victorian Candelabrum was commissioned and presented to the Reverend Samuel Oughton by the congregation (largely Black) of the East Queen Street Baptist Church in 1846.

The gift was in recognition of his distinguished pastoral service to the church, which included the expansion of the church facilities as well as for Reverend Oughton's interest in the development of the society and the Black community's intellectual life. He served at the East Queen Street Baptist Church from 1829 to 1869.

The East Queen Street Baptist Church is one of several historic churches in Kingston. Dedicated on January 22, 1822, the church had the largest Baptist membership in the world (2937 members) at the time of its dedication. In 1966 the East Queen Street Baptist Church established the George Liele Education Centre, named for the man credited for starting the work of the Baptists in Jamaica.

In 1783 George Liele, a coloured North American former enslaved African, arrived in the island and began preaching.

His message was met with opposition from the plantocracy as his views reflected a stance against enslavement. Liele gave the enslaved persons his full focus unlike the established churches and they responded to him and his message in droves. His presence excited the masses, hence, after emancipation, many enslaved Africans continued to worship with the Baptists.


Did You Know?


The term 'candelabra' refers to a pair or set of candlesticks with multiple arms which are used to hold candles. The origin of the word 'candelabrum' is a Latin term which translates literally to candle-tree. This is due to the many branches or arms of the candelabrum, resembling that of a tree spreading it's branches in all directions.

- Information compiled by Sharifa Balfour, assistant curator, National Museum Jamaica