Sun | Oct 1, 2023

Falmouth Methodist Church marks 230th anniversary

Published:Sunday | May 28, 2023 | 12:37 AMLeon Jackson - Gleaner Writer
Rev Everald Galbraith and Dana Stewart cut the anniversary cake at the 230th celebration of Methodisim in Trelawny
Rev Everald Galbraith and Dana Stewart cut the anniversary cake at the 230th celebration of Methodisim in Trelawny


IT WAS a special occasion at the Falmouth Methodist Church in Trelawny recently as the day’s service was used to mark the 230th anniversary of the denomination establishing roots in the western parish, where it now has three churches in operation.

In a service that was both reflective and mission-oriented, the focus was centred around the theme of ‘Spreading Spiritual Holiness to Reform the Nation’.

Roxanne Blagrove, who gave a history of the Methodist Church in the parish, recounted how the church has made important strides in education and other social outreach endeavours.

“The first Methodist Church in the parish started in Martha Brae 230 years ago. Since that time, there have been 10 different congregations established in the parish. We have contributed to education and health, with early childhood education being our primary focus,” said Blagrove.

“We have established basic schools in Brampton, Sawyers, and Stetton, and the Westwood High School is still our baby. Our Methodist Clinic on George’s Street in Falmouth continues to offer general healthcare throughout the year, with visits from healthcare practitioners from America,” she added.

Karen Francis, principal of Westwood High School was full of praise for the church, saying that the school has benefited tremendously from its close relationship with the church.

“We try to expose all the students to a wide crosss section of religious worship, but the Methodists have their presence in many areas of the school’s life. Even the present chairman of the school is a Methodist,” said Francis.

In speaking to how the church has been impacting the operation at the Methodist Clinic, Meris Palmer, who has oversight responsibility at the clinic, considers the visits of overseas medical practitioners a major highlight.

“We have six visits annually. These include medical doctors, opticians, and dentists. They provide free healthcare to people from across the parish,” said Palmer.

Bishop Reverend Everald Galbraith, a senior Methodist Church leader in the Caribbean, described the celebration as a significant milestone in the church’s history.

“This is a significant occasion in the life of Methodism in the parish of Trelawny. For over two hundred and a quarter years, the flag has been flying across the parish because soldiers of the cross have been on the battlefield for the Lord. We who are here should try to continue and keep the theme of the celebration in our minds,” Rev Galbraith said.

Reverend Dr Oral Thomas, current president of the United Theological College of the West Indies, who delivered the sermon, called for a commitment to the church, noting that since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a noticeable decline in attendance. He said the time has come for the members to renew their commitment to the church.