Adventist Church in St. Thomas ready to impact Jamaica with Health Message
Written by: Phillip E. L. Castell. Director, Communication, Public Affairs & Religious Liberty | Thursday, October 4, 2018
Support and buy-in for the new thrust of every member participating in the holistic health campaign for personal and national transformation was bolstered on September 29, 2018 when top leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in St. Thomas, invited the church to become engaged in Project 2019 at a Mission Convocation held at the Morant Bay SDA Church. The keynote speaker for the event was Pastor Everett Brown, President of the SDA church in Jamaica.
In providing background information for the health focus of the church going forward in his message to the church, Pastor Everett Brown, said, “Jesus in his ministry, responded to the needs of the people he met, and after responding to their needs, he bade them “follow me.””
“There is a national crisis in terms of health,” continued Brown, “and the ministry of health and the government has decided to lead out in this direction, an area that the Seventh-day Adventist Church has more than competence.”
According to Pastor Brown, “the Seventh-day Adventist Church has been given a message by God to share with the world, a health message and we must join with those nationally and internationally to respond where this ministry is concerned. And so in 2019 and beyond, our focus will be on holistic health, physical health, emotional health and spiritual health.”
His emphasis on the health message as the entering wedge for evangelism going forward was consistent with the sentiment shared by Conference president Eric Nathan, as well as the five pastors from St. Thomas who pledged their support to lead their church by example in the weeks and months ahead.
“Right now the church is thinking of impacting Jamaica and in 2019, something is going to happen that we have never seen or heard before,” said Pastor Nathan who spoke with much enthusiasm as he shared this important news personally with the church in this side of the territory for the first time.
“For the first time the world church will set up headquarters for a time in Jamaica next year and through an emphasis on health, we are going to impact evangelism in 2019,” added Nathan.
The top pastor in EJC encouraged every member of the church to take a personal look on their own health situation before taking the message to the community. “Before we get to the world outside, we need to work on ourselves first,” said Pastor Nathan.
“We are going to start an evangelistic program that we’ve never seen before,” continued Nathan. “The JAMU president will tell you that the Union is seeking to have 500 campaigns simultaneously in Jamaica land we love but before that, they will be having 500 projects being carried on by the church,” the man of God explained.
Speaking with confidence that the 105 churches in EJC alone will be able to undertake five hundred projects, Pastor Nathan said if each church undertook one project and if in addition to that, each department of the church did one project, the goal would be reached with ease.
“Each department is to have a project to take to the community. The health department should have a project, the family life department must have a project, the education department should have a project and when you put all of this together, the East Jamaica Conference is seeking to have 500 projects,” Pastor Nathan said.
Zone leader for the churches in St. Thomas and pastor of the Morant Bay circuit of churches, Melvin Francis, spoke to the church with confidence about the new thrust to reach people in St. Thomas for Christ with the health message into 2019.
“This is a time like never before. We are here to seize the moment and make Mission Project 2019 the most ambitious and impactful program this parish has ever seen,” Francis said.
Pastor Francis, who also is the president of the EJC Ministerial Fraternity, demonstrated that he had done his homework when he declared that the population of the parish of St. Thomas is ninety thousand. Francis said he had received the figures from STATIN and encouraged every member of the church to get involved in ministry for Christ.
“I believe today brothers and sisters that St. Thomas is ready to make holistic health for personal and national transformation a big one to lead in the transformation of our parish and in the transformation of our nation.
Francis spoke highly of the pastors in St. Thomas and said “the group of pastors we have here in St. Thomas is second to none, in fact in our planning, we decided that we will not ask our members to do anything that we ourselves are not willing to do.” The pastors all spoke with one voice and supported the idea that every member should get involved at this time and play their part in advancing the kingdom of God at this time.
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