From media to ministry - Lincoln Liking's story
Church for his mother, with whom he grew up, was never a necessity as she believed that persons having been exposed to a number of religious ideologies, had to find their way.
Media relations was his passion and if someone had told him that he would be pursuing theological studies, he would have had a hearty laugh.
Well, actually someone did tell him he would become a pastor, so it’s almost safe to say they're having the last laugh now.
But, Lincoln Liking told Family & Religion that he's never been more at peace with a decision made, though the road is nothing short of speed bumps and potholes.
"I was in media for approximately 13 years. Before entering media I did a 9-5 (job) but I couldn't see myself doing that for the rest of my life; I needed to do something that was creative so I got training in media: voice work, production, editing, writing. When I got into media I thought this was it, I never knew I would leave the field."
Liking's father, who was more religious than his mother, ensured that his children went to church on Sundays when they visited, but even then the young lad thought nothing of the experience.
"While in high school I got exposed to the Rastafarian faith and I embraced their philosophy. I thought Selassie was God; I believed he was the Christ returned. But one thing I learnt from them was the importance of the Sabbath and I thought if I ever became a Christian it would have to be a Sabbath-keeping church."
As Liking became older he began reading more and opening his mind, and soon devoted his life to God through confession.
"I felt the conviction that I needed to accept Christ and without going to a church or anything, I confessed my sins and accepted Christ as Lord and Saviour. It was difficult for me when I first walked into an Adventist church - I absolutely hated Sabbath school: everybody was loud and I felt like leaving, but I decided to stay the day. I was blown away by the Divine hour, it was orderly and reverent. It was my first true meaningful worship experience."
Liking later became baptised after a sermon based on Isaiah chapter 6 and a series of Bible classes.
"After that sermon I felt so convicted, I called a friend of mine who was a part of the Rastafarian faith and we started attending Bible studies. It was about a month later that we were both baptised".
Liking, having been a baptised Seventh-day Adventist Christian for 17 years, admitted that he has always maintained his faith in God, but was not always obedient to His call, particularly the call to Ministry.
"I remember once when I went to Church one Sunday as a child with my step-brother, the female pastor looked at me and told me I would become a pastor, but I brushed it off. However, as I got older the call got to be very real. He (God) would send messages, He would send persons and I kept saying no..."
"I never wanted to be a leader; I never wanted to be up front. I hated public speaking, I am extremely shy, I can't remember names and I wondered how I was going to pastor people whose names I couldn't remember," he said laughingly.
But, yet again, the conviction was too great. Liking, who said he was in a good place professionally and financially with plans to be married, dropped everything to answer the call.
"God came to me very clearly and He told me I had to make a decision and so I applied for the programme at NCU (Northern Caribbean University). I am now in my second year. It’s been one of the most difficult experiences I've had, yet one of the most spiritually rewarding. I'm in a state if thankfulness because everything has worked together for my good."
The aspiring minister says he is unsure of how God will use in him in the future, but says he is looking forward to a unique experience.