Thu | Sep 21, 2017

Christians to enjoy action at Gosplash

Published:Friday | July 29, 2016 | 7:00 AMBarbara Ellington
Markland 'Action' Edwards

If he did not have his career as a broadcaster, Markland 'Action' Edwards would be engaged in full-time ministry. It is only natural , therefore, that listeners to the afternoon radio show he co-hosts with Wesley 'Burgerman' Burger on RJR will often hear him bearing witness to his Christian faith.

The ebullient radio personality has been a born-again Christian since his early teens at St Catherine High School and has found his journey with the Lord very satisfying.

Now a member of the Emmanuel Apostolic in Portmore, Edwards said he has served there and elsewhere in several positions, from the men's fellowship executive to praise and worship leader.

"l have found my walk with God fulfilling and I love both radio and the church, I am not into secular events," Edwards said.

He has wide-ranging experiences starting with LOVE FM, then on to a multicultural

religious radio station and a Caribbean radio station in Canada, where he resided for 10 years before returning to Jamaica.

Back home, Edwards did a stint at Nationwide News Network before joining RJR, where he has been for the last five years.

Asked why he returned home, Edwards quipped, "Nowhere no betta dan yard. I love Jamaica, I have more of a sense of liberty here, things are more flexible. And, as a frequent flyer, I can always return to visit my family in Canada whenever I want."

Edwards remains true to his Christian faith by choosing carefully the gigs he does

- usually family oriented

community events, wedding receptions or religious/gospel concerts.

 

Wholesome entertainment

 

In his desire to reach a wider audience, three years ago Edwards began to provide wholesome entertainment on at least one public holiday, to Christian families in Jamaica. The date chosen was Emancipation Day August 1 annually. In an interview with The Gleaner, Edwards explained the genesis of the Credit Unions of Jamaica (CUJ) Gosplash.

"I saw the need for a wholesome family event for Christians. Everyone else had their pick of several secular festivals, concerts and parties, but apart from church functions, Christians had nowhere to go for fun," Edwards said.

That gave him the idea for Gosplash, which he envisioned would combine water, worship and the word.

The location must have a beach or river, where the children and adults could have fun. The worship would be the concert and the word would be given by a designated pastor.

Edwards then met with the gospel group Love Singers, who had an event called Gosplash.

"I liked the name and wanted to use it, so I told them of my desire (which would be very different from theirs) and they consented," Edwards explained.

Three years hence, CUJ has been locked in as title sponsors a perfect fit, as the credit union movement was born out of the Catholic Church, patrons are happy and numbers are growing. Christians in Jamaica, now have a calendar event where they can relax and let their hair down but everyone is welcome.

"I wish it were possible to have this type of event for Christian families to enjoy on every public holiday; until then, they can dress comfortably, bring a picnic basket, swim, lyme, and enjoy great gospel music in a secure and safe environment that has ample parking and five certified lifeguards on duty," Edwards said.

Come Monday, Fort Clarence Beach in Helshire, St Catherine, will come alive from 10 a.m., to 10 p.m. Highlight of the day's activities will be the Kendel Cook-Off among pastors.

There will also be Bible trivia quizzes, tug-o-war, wet towel contest, obstacle courses and more; these will be accompanied by several prizes and giveaways. For the fifth anniversary, Edwards is eyeing other venues in rural Jamaica.

Edwards is grateful to the Action Entertainment team for its hard work, as well as the sponsors who have been with Gosplash from the start and those who have joined the

family this year. These include the RJR Communications Group, iCool, Kendel, Hyundai, FLOW, Portmore Municipal Council, the Urban Development Corporation, Singer, Neutrogena, the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, LOVE FM, TBC Radio, Gospel Ja, Image Jamaica and Sparkles Portmore.

(barbara.ellington@gleanerjm.com)