Fri | Oct 30, 2020

Grace Baptist Church: Going beyond the spiritual Going beyond the spiritual

Published:Sunday | September 15, 2019 | 12:38 AMCarl Gilchrist - Gleaner Writer
Grace Baptist Church, St Mary.
Grace Baptist Church, St Mary.

Grace Baptist Church in Oracabessa, St Mary, has extended its service to residents beyond spiritual, having been involved in education for three decades, with the operation of the Grace Care Education Centre from its premises on Wharf Road in that town.

Showing no signs of slowing down, the centre, under the chairmanship of Christopher Burke, recently collaborated with HEART Trust/NTA to offer a nine-month data operations course which is nearing its end.

“It’s a new programme, it’s the first time we’re doing data operations, it’s a nine month course and they’re almost at the end,” explained Jasmine Eccleston, Grace Care Training Centre board member. “It has been very good, it’s an impressive group, the way they go about their thing, I’m really impressed.”

Eccleston said the centre has offered a wide range of courses over the years, including garment construction, housekeeping, dining room service, drapery making, among others.

“Right now, we’re advertising for drapery making and housekeeping, and we need at least 25 persons. If we get that, we will go back into the data operations again, to start January 2020.”

Meanwhile, Webster Spencer, coordinator and instructor at the centre, has hailed the partnership with HEART Trust/NTA while proclaiming the first data operations course a success

“To me, it would have been a success, irrespective of the challenges and everything, it would have been a success,” Spencer declared.

Learning curve

He further explained: “For me, it was a learning curve, it’s the first time operating a HEART-related programme with me being at the helm, but the results are good in how we can be transforming our students from technically knowing nothing, in some respects, to where they can sort of manage on their own.”

On Monday at the Grace Care Centre, the communications class, a unit of the overall programme, held a ceremony to showcase some of the skills they have acquired in doing the programme. They aptly demonstrated how capable they are at speaking, introducing guest speakers and critiquing speeches.

Participants in the course were happy for the opportunity to learn new skills, which some of them said they are already using to their benefit.

“It’s been going great,” said one participant, Jennifer Ross. “When I started, I did not realise it was so compact and I was wondering how I was going to cope seeing that I work, but I’m finding that it’s OK, it’s going great.”

Ross, who is a teacher, said the course will benefit her personally in the long run, but immediately in her profession, she will be able to assist her students in the classroom.


“I am very, very grateful. I’m able to do this,” Ross admitted.

And according to Lesa Smith: “It’s been challenging because I am working at the same time, but it is fulfilling because I’m seeing where what I’ve learnt and what I’m learning is being put to use. It’s rewarding.”

Persons who are interested in registering for courses at the Grace Care Educational Centre may contact the centre, located at Grace Baptist Church, Wharf Road, Oracabessa, next door to the Oracabessa Primary School.