Rest well, Pastor Janet
Former national educator, pastor hailed as a ‘great daughter of Jamaica’
Friends, church, and family members are mourning the passing of Janet Allen, pastor of Encounter Ministries International church with campuses in Liguanea, St Andrew, and Payne Land in southeast St Andrew.
Pastor Janet Allen, formerly of the Emmanuel Apostolic Church on Slipe Road in Kingston and Portmore and Linstead Pentecostal Tabernacle in St Catherine, died on Monday, December 20, 2021, after a short bout of illness.
Pastor Janet, as she was affectionately called, is remembered for her firebrand style of preaching and her focus on youth empowerment and education.
She was a trained educator and taught at the Mavis Bank Vocational School, Holy Childhood, and Merl Grove High Schools in St Andrew and was involved in several national programmes targeting inner-city and at-risk youth. She also worked in adult education at the Jamaica Foundation for Life-Long Learning.
Former Executive Director of the National Youth Service the Reverend Adinhair Jones expressed condolences to her family and church.
“I am very saddened, and in fact, really in shock,” he said.
Rev Jones remembers Pastor Allen in her capacity as programme officer for a special National Youth Service initiative for students, especially boys at the secondary level, who had considerable behavioural issues and as programme supervisor of the Jamaica Canada Youth Exchange project.
He said that she “played a very pivotal role” in delivering the programme and supervising the delivery of the curriculum.
“I believe we have lost a great daughter of Jamaica and the church fraternity.”
Another stalwart of faith, Bishop Everton Thomas of the Emmanuel Apostolic Church in Portmore and former chairman of the Jamaica Pentecostal Union, spoke of Pastor Allen’s influence across several departments in his ministry, her leadership growth, and the blossoming of her own ministry – Encounter Ministries International.
“She made an impact, a huge impact, on our ministry in the Sunday school department, as a youth director, praise leader, and with the young persons and the elderly.”
“My wife and I are still reeling from the shocking death of Pastor Janet, but we were very touched by her life and humbled by the time she spent in our ministry.”
Pastor Allen attended the University of the West Indies, Mona, where she graduated with an honours degree in international relations. She later pursued a Master’s in Educational Leadership at the Central Connecticut State University and was valedictorian. A licensed clinical pastoral counsellor, prior to her falling ill, Pastor Allen was a doctoral candidate in clinical counselling.
In 2019, in partnership with the North Central University of Minnesota, she established Purpose College, a private training institution that offered degree programmes in a range of disciplines.
The aim was to provide alternatives for young persons who sought opportunities to excel in fields not offered by traditional educational facilities. She was a phenomenal woman and she will be greatly missed.
Thanksgiving services for the life of Pastor Janet Allen will be held from January 19-21, with live streaming scheduled for January 19 on Zoom, a memorial service at Linstead Pentecostal Tabernacle on January 20, and a home-going service at the Emmanuel Apostolic Church, Slipe Road, on January 21. Rest well, Pastor. Rest well!