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Pastor challenges local government leaders to put God first

Published:Saturday | December 24, 2016 | 12:00 AMTamara Bailey
Vice-president of Students Services and Campus Ministries at Northern Caribbean University (NCU), Dr Newton Cleghorne.

MANDEVILLE, Manchester:

As the New Year approaches, many have started looking to their local political representative to implement and enforce policies that will aid their development and that of their community.

But though the needs of the people must be met with urgency and integrity, vice-president of Students Services and Campus Ministries at Northern Caribbean University (NCU), Dr Newton Cleghorne, says God must be at the centre of every decision.

"The message leaps from the pages of Holy Rift in the 127th Division of the Psalm verses 1, which says, 'Unless the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it. Unless the Lord keeps guard of the city, the watchman stands watch in vain'."

Addressing recently sworn-in councillors at the Municipal Corporation of Manchester, Cleghorne noted:

"We cannot do what we ought to do on our own; we need the intervention of the Almighty to achieve success. You are given another term in office and will need the requisite skills, wisdom and understanding to achieve success."

He further acknowledged that the expectations of the people may be overwhelming, but an involved leader who relies on God will yield much success.




"A country cannot depend on politicians alone to provide everything. As a pastor, I have discovered over 37 years now that the popular adage is 'home': a home-going pastor makes a church-going people. I challenge you today (to be): a home-visiting politician or leader makes a division-loving people."

"You need the sustaining guidance and direction of the Almighty. Remember that the word of God declares that 'the righteous exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people'. Man proposes but God disposes. Unless God blesses man's work, it is built in vain."

Cleghorne stressed the importance of prayer and total submission to God as the only effective solution.

"We need to be a country, a parish ... we need to be divisions that pray. With all that is happening around us - the heightened crime and violence, people suffering from one end to another - we know that prayer becomes the answer to every problem in life.

"I challenge you that as you surrender your life to the hands of the One that is bigger than all of us and greater than all of us, I believe that Manchester will be a parish to be taken seriously, and we will have a greater Jamaica, land we love."