Former Portmore Mayor Keith Hinds now campaigning for Jesus
Former mayor of Portmore, Keith Hinds is giving God thanks for completely turning his life around and allowing him to find his way back to the fold after backsliding for 20 years ago.
As a teenager, Hinds attended Pentecostal Tabernacle on Wildman Street before he “went into the world”.
But just before backsliding, he said he got a message from God which he vividly recalled.
“Just before I left the church, I was fasting and praying and God put a message in my heart - a message about the bridegroom knocking on the door and the bride not hearing.
When the bride finally heard, all that was left was the smell of the bridegroom's perfume,” he said, adding that the message stayed with him for the two decades he was outside the fold and getting caught up in the political world “doing everything that God would rather you not be doing it”.
Hinds said in his third year as mayor, he felt a strong urge to head back to church.
He said during those years, the actions of others eventually affected his tenure as mayor.
“People took containers and said the mayor told them to take them away. The mayor could not do that; it would have to be a council decision. When that thing hit the road, people started to hate me. My name became such an awful word that it didn’t matter what I did, I knew I was not going to win the next election,” he reminisced.
Hinds said he didn’t understand it at first, but then he started getting a pull to just head back to church and he just got up one Sunday morning and returned to Pentecostal Tabernacle.
“That Sunday morning the tears flowed freely; my heart was just overwhelmed,” he recalled, sharing that after his former pastor, Sonny Stewart preached the message, he just “hit the altar”.
“No one had to tell me that a change had come; I felt it. It went through every fibre of my being. The things I was doing I could no longer do them. God had re-entered my life in a powerful way,” shared Hinds.
Following that experience, he said the election loss didn’t surprise him … all the accusations he said ended up making him stronger and more reliant on God, and today he admits it was all in line for the new direction God had for his life.
Having re-entered the church, Hinds attended new converts classes before once again receiving the “right hand of fellowship”.
After being in the church for a while, the pastor noticed how involved he was in ministry and encouraged him to pastor the church at Morris Hall in St Catherine, which he did for about four years.
“Each time I am heading to Morris Hall on a Sunday, I wouldn’t feel that pull, but anytime I drove through Bog Walk, there was this awesome urge to put up an assembly there,” he said of the move that saw him where he has been the host pastor for a few years now, hosting church meetings in a 20 x 20 foot tent.
Hinds has been impacting the community with various outreaches such as back-to-school, Christmas treats, social interventions and mentorship.
“My wife has also been integral in putting on a parenting fair,” he said on their outreach programmes.
Looking ahead, Hinds said his dream for the Bog Walk community, something he feels strong and deeply about, is to organise a training institution, not just to help people who can’t read and write properly, but also to teach them life skills.