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Adventist leaders in western Jamaica pledge more community involvement

Published:Monday | October 6, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Pastor Glen O. Samuels (second left), president of the West Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, signs the leadership pledge in the presence of (from left) Elder Bancroft Barwise, treasurer, Jamaica Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists; Pastor Everett Brown, president; and Pastor Milton Gregory, executive secretary. Contributed

The leadership of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in West Jamaica has pledged to be more involved in the parish of St James through social intervention which is spiritually centred.

This will involve the use of some of its churches outside of the regular Sabbath, Sunday and Wednesday-night services in some of the inner-city communities of Rose Heights, Mount Salem, Flankers, Canterbury, Norwood, and others in Montego Bay. The move, which has started already, is to provide academic, counselling and other humanitarian outreach to these areas.

"So far, we have engaged a number of churches in the Montego Bay area, and a number of our members who are medical and academic professionals have given their commitment to give their time in free medical assistance and tutoring to those in need," said newly elected president of the West Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Pastor Glen O. Samuels. Pastor Samuels was speaking at the service of installation for the new administration for the Adventist Church in western Jamaica at its conference centre in Mount Salem, St James, on Saturday, October 4.

In addition to what the churches will be doing, Samuels said, "the staff at the conference headquarters have made themselves available once each month to leave their desks as a team and go into communities to give hot meals and prayers to those in need on the streets. We believe that God didn't call us only to sit by a desk, but to live it, so that struggling humanity will understand that there is a God who cares."

The project started on September 25 and will continue in the ensuing months ahead.

In his brief address to the congregation, the member of parliament for North West, St James, Dr Horace Chang, said the entire western region owes a debt of gratitude to the Seventh-day Adventist Church in this region."

"The work of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is not only in bringing the gospel, but work in education is outstanding. You have provided moral leadership in the communities in difficult times. The communities we represent in Montego Bay offers many challenges, and the church was there to assist and guide us through them."

The conference will also focus on family wholeness as a part of its strategic plan to touch the lives of people and improve the social and moral fabric of not only St James, but the other parishes of Westmoreland, Hanover and St Elizabeth.

Ewen Corrodus, custos of St James; Mayor of St James Glendon Harris; members of parliament Lloyd B. Smith and Edmund Bartlett were among the many civic, church and business leaders in attendance.