Tue | Oct 20, 2020

Praying for deliverance

Published:Sunday | February 20, 2011 | 12:00 AM
Buju and a member of his legal team head to court on Friday. - Photo by Daraine Luton

Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter

Tampa, Florida:

CAROL TAYLOR prayed and proclaimed the name of Jesus Christ on Friday as she paced the corridors on the 13th floor of the Sam McGibbons Building, which houses the United States Middle District Court, Florida Division.

This is the place where her friend, Mark 'Buju Banton' Myrie, is being tried for drugs and firearm-related offences.

As Buju and supporters nervously awaited the return of the jury from their deliberations, Taylor summoned the power of God's intervening hand on the singer's behalf.

"We know that God sits high and he looks down low and he takes care of his own, and Buju Banton, Mark Myrie, is His child and He will take care of His own," Taylor told The Gleaner.

Three prayer meetings

Throughout Friday's wait for the verdict, which did not come, Taylor convened at least three prayer meetings.

When these meetings were called, Buju was put at the centre of a circle, and supporters, including entertainers known by their stage names - 'Delly Ranks', 'Gramps Morgan' and 'Wayne Wonder' - held hands around him, praying for deliverance.

"I had to be on the battlefield because He (God) wants a modern-day Moses … . We may think that he (Buju) is here for one thing, but God has him for something else, and in order for him to go forth and do that which God has called him to do, we have to pray him up so that he can be free," Taylor said.

Buju, who last Sunday won the 2010 Grammy for Best Reggae Album with his work Before the Dawn, faces up to life imprisonment if convicted of the crimes he has been accused of in the United States.

He is charged with conspiracy to possess, with intent to distribute, five kilograms or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine; attempting to possess five kilograms or more of cocaine; knowingly and intentionally possessing a firearm in furtherance of and during the course of a drug-trafficking crime; and aiding and abetting others in using a communication facility in the commission of a felony.

Not guilty

The reggae superstar has denied those charges. "I am not a drug dealer … . I am not guilty of these crimes, ladies and gentlemen," were Buju's last words to the jury as he left the witness box last Thursday.

But Taylor does not believe Buju's fate can be left entirely in the hands of the jurors.

"Man will make a decision and God overrule. Justice is blind. If you look at even the symbol that depicts justice, the eyes of that symbol are covered. How can they see? So with God in the midst of everything then, justice will be served because we know He is the only true God and the only true judge."

She added: "I am not on the borderline, I am on Jesus line. He said 'My main line is always open', and I am very confident that the blood of Jesus Christ will go to every one of those jurors right now, the judge, the prosecutor, and will change their heart. I ask God to let a fire come upon them and convict them, and convict them because as He said in Isaiah chapter 54, 'Whose report can we believe?', and we believe in the report of the Lord."

The jury will resume its deliberations on Tuesday, after tomorrow's public holiday in the US.