After one year of planning and strategy, the Gordon Town SDA Church in the East Jamaica Conference was ready to welcome one and all to its week of activities from October 22 – 29, 2022 for its 30th anniversary under the theme: “With God: Love in Action Continues”.
The newly refurbished and decorated church, inclusive of paved grounds, a new kitchen area, and painted surroundings, threw its doors open to welcome all.
The planning team, with anniversary chairman, Elder David Walker supported by Pastors Howard Smith and Dane Ferguson, along with the board of Elders headed by Vaughn Thomas, the board members and members of the church, threw themselves headfirst into bringing all the planning to pass.
The weeklong activities included: A Road March and Spot Meeting, Town Hall Meeting, Prayer Meeting, Youth Forum, Evening of Praise and Sabbath Celebration & Grand Social
The church members embarked on an intensive month of work as the day approached. We applaud the role of skilled builders including Bros. Livingston, Johnson, Hunt, Deacons: Patrick Sterling, Howard Morris and numerous labourers comprising pastors, elders and members (male and female alike) working side by side in construction, painting, drilling, paving, and tiling. We were kept well-fed by the kitchen volunteers.
Headed by Chairman David Walker, the fund-raising team received significant support from corporate Jamaica including companies such as Wisynco, Premix, Rainforest Seafood, Medical link ltd and Lasco. We also recognise significant personal contributions by Donavon McNee and William McNab along with others too many to mention. As a result, support could be given to building fund resulting in the completion of the new kitchen and dining area.
Believing that the Lord’s work should not be done in a corner, unknown or unseen, the Communications Department went to work and produced a build-up to and through the anniversary, worthy of emulation, resulting in the event being widely known and attended.
Pathfinders and the Drum Corp of the East Jamaica Conference assembled in Gordon Town Square on Sabbath afternoon, October 22, 2022, to lead a march to launch the exciting week of activities. In spite of the rain, they marched purposefully from the square to Savage Pen where the original Crusade to start the church 30 years ago was held. In the square, worship was held featuring music and a charge was given by former Pastor Kevin Whyte. It was well received by the community.
A town hall meeting focusing on “Building the community one youth at a time” was held on Sunday at the Community Resource Centre. Special Guest, Pastor Omar Oliphant, Public Affairs & Religious Liberty Director and the East Jamaica Conference, led the discussion on issues in the community while being joined by experts from the community Council headed by our own chairman David Walker, the Disputes Resolution Foundation, and the head of the police in Gordon Town.
During the meeting, students from the community including Javell Burris, a student at Ardenne High School, were presented with grants and gifts.
On Wednesday, members from the Gordon Town, Hope and Sandy Park churches gathered together to pray and pray they did well into the night. Though our scheduled speaker was unable to attend, we were pleasantly surprised by the appearance and extended greetings by the retired pastor and father of our current pastor, Enroy G. Ferguson along with Pastor Holland Thompson.
“Love, Courtship & Marriage” was the focus of Thursday’s Youth Night. Senior members of the church were asked to stay home as the youth wanted a chance to reason alone with facilitator and Youth Ministries Director of the East Jamaica Conference, Pastor Joel Jumpp.
Friday night was music night! Church members came out in their numbers to participate in and enjoy the music. Through the expert guidance of Sis Sharon Sinclair and Delzariene Morrison, favourites from the past and the present rang out. Special mention must be made of an invited quartet called “For His Glory”: 4 young ladies from 4 different churches. Special renditions were done by Sis. Audrey Melbourne, Elder Neville Morrison and the 25-member choir singing. Pastor of the church, Dane Ferguson gave a very insightful 15-minute sermon on the sick of the palsy.
The celebration climaxed on Sabbath, October 29, 2022 and it turned out to be all that we expected and more.
The service was attended by Member of Parliament of St. Andrew East Rural, Mrs Juliet Holness. In her greetings, she encouraged the church to help members of society in being the best they can be.
“My upbringing in the sheltering arms of the Seventh-day Adventist church in Spanish Town was a great factor in who I am today. Evil abounds, but the good people must step up to help society”, said Mrs Holness.
First Elder Vaughn Thomas, who was unavoidably overseas, participated in the momentous occasion online, reading the history of the church.
The word was delivered to the congregation by the President of the East Jamaica Conference, Pastor Meric Walker. Focusing on the shortest psalms in the Bible, Psalms 117, he declared his focus to be “inclusion, diffusion and conclusion”.
“…Praise should be from all, not the present case where 80% of the church is standing, observing the 20% doing all the work. TMI – Total Member Involvement in Mission First, maximum success is guaranteed only when we are all involved”, said Walker.
The sermon was well received by the over 400 persons present both inside the sanctuary and outside under tents. Others locally and overseas tuned in via the church’s online platforms: Zoom, YouTube and Facebook.
As part of the Inter-American Division Centennial Celebration, Elder Howard McCalla was granted the opportunity to baptize a sole candidate Mr. Zavaughani Morris. Heaven Rejoices!