Bishop Frederick Binnie: one of St Mary's longest-serving religious leaders
PORT MARIA, St Mary:
With 40 years of devout ministry to his credit, Bishop Frederick Binnie of the Valley Ministries Sounds of Praise Pentecostal Church in Port Maria, St Mary, is one of the parish's longest-serving religious leaders.
As Binnie prepares for the launch of a four-day convention taking place at his church between February 14 and 17, the friendly bishop reminisced about his introduction to Christianity and extolled the virtues and power of the Holy Spirit.
Speaking to Family and Religion last week, he said: "I got saved and dedicated my life to the Lord in 1969. I started teaching Sunday school and became youth leader at this very church and was ordained a deacon around 1976.
"I became a pastor in 1992 and was ordained as a ruling elder for the circuit 10 years later. Then, in 2009, I was consecrated as a bishop in South Carolina, USA, for the ministry in Jamaica, so it's been a long journey."
He continued: "Although there is a minority group that does not want to fellowship with the majority who work in unison, generally speaking, I think the churches in St Mary are doing a good job.
"Some people say we have so many churches in Jamaica, and yet the crime and murder rates are so high, but we have to realise that we're fighting against a force and, of course, the more you do good, the more the enemy tries to present himself, but you cannot be discouraged. You have to keep going forward, know what God has called you to do, and continue sending the message out there.
"In [Mark 16:15], Jesus said you must go into the world and preach the gospel, even as a
witness; because even in His time, He knew not everyone was going to respond positively. There were people who condemned and called Him 'Beelzebub'.
RESPONSIBILITY TO TEACH
"But we still have a responsibility to preach the message because [John 3:18] says those who hear and believe shall be saved, and those who don't will be damned. As ministers of the gospel, we have a responsibility to warn people of the wrath which is to come."
Binnie will continue to preach the 'good news' for as long as he has strength, but insists there is a force much greater than himself that is responsible for converting non-believers.
He explained: "The spirit of God has to do the work because even though joining a church is a good thing, it is not the solution because you can join a church that is crowded with people, but if their hearts are not changed, they will do things the same.
"The spirit of God is important in a believer's life because the spirit has to make that change. That is why in [John 3:6], Jesus said: 'That which is born of flesh is flesh, and that which is born of spirit is spirit; so you must be born again .'"