By George Henry, Freelance Writer,
The Rev. Dr. Osmond G. Harris and his wife Dulcy singing at a farewell service put on by the members of the Grace Baptist Church in their honour at Kellits in Clarendon on Sunday, March 16. - George Henry Photo
SCORES OF wellwishers turned out last Sunday to extend congratulations and bid farewell to Rev. Dr. Osmond G. Harris of the Crofts Hill-Paradise Circuit of Baptist Churches at the Grace Baptist Church in Kellits, Clarendon as he went on retirement.
A son of Brown's Town, St. Ann, Rev. Harris' sojourn as Minister in the Crofts Hill-Paradise Circuit of Baptist Churches came to an end after nearly 50 years of service.
The man, described as being humble, spent 46 years on the Crofts Hill-Paradise Circuit.
Many who brought greetings and gifts for the "Man of God" described him as a humble, considerate and hard working minister, who was always connected to the people.
Mrs. Sepheline Williams who has been the secretary of the Grace Baptist Church for 34 of the 46 years that Rev. Harris has been there, in her greetings said she had grown to love the pastor since she got saved there from she was a teenager.
Mrs. Williams said he had laid a solid foundation not only at the Grace Baptist Church but also throughout the community, and has won the admiration of all residents.
Mr. A.C. McDonald, a community member during his greetings, noted that Rev. Dr. Harris fought a good fight, finished his course and kept the faith, while serving the circuit of churches for more than half of his life time and was worthy of emulation and recognition.
Principal of the Kellits Primary School, Mr. Theo A. Fearon described Rev. Harris as an over-comer who has passed through many trials and tribulations while serving for the many years with much courage.
He noted that Rev. Harris worked steadily in the Christian faith while being humble, patient and gentle in obedience to the will and work of the Lord.
Mr. Fearon also described Rev. Dr. Harris as an academically gifted person who has moved up the ranks to acquire his Doctor of Divinity degree. And that his respect for those with whom he worked and served was tremendous.
Deacon Albert Benjamin of the Kellits New Testament Church of God described Rev. Harris as a "life saver", who preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ in and out of season.
He congratulated Rev. Dr. Harris for having served in the area as pastor for almost five decades without having to be called up for anything by the Jamaica Baptist Union. This Deacon Benjamin pointed out was due to the good life lived by the pastor.
To Mary Henry, the Rev. Mr. Harris was an architect of faith, who built from a solid foundation and did well. She noted that an award presented to Rev. Dr. Harris by the Governor-General some years ago was a testament to the quality work he executed over the more than four and a half decades on the Crofts Hill-Paradise Circuit of Churches.
In his reply Rev. Harris said he was overwhelmed by the occasion and with the out-pouring of love at the farewell service.
He thanked all those who were in attendance and all those with whom he has worked over the many decades while making his ministry a success.
Rev. Harris called on the members of the Grace Baptist Church to continue the challenging work of God and asked that the church house where he has worshipped for the 46 years continue to be well taken care of as all members have been doing.
Apart from the many greetings and the beautiful gifts and the outpouring of love for the out going pastor and his wife, there were also tributes in songs.