The Pembroke Hall Seventh-day Adventist Church (SDA) is the latest Church to be organized in the East Jamaica Conference (EJC) following a special organization service held on May 28, 2022. The church will be officially be adopted in the sisterhood of churches at the Sixth Quadrennial Session scheduled to take place on June 19 - 20, 2022 at the Kencot SDA Church.
The change in status will cause the number of organized churches in the Conference to move from 97 to 98 while the total number of churches, companies and branch Sabbath Schools in the Conference remains at 104.
The service was held on the upper flour of the Mae’s Building complex located at 43 A Caincurran Drive in Pembroke Hall, Kingston 20 which was purchased through the kind assistance of the Jamaica Union Conference and the Inter-American Division just over two years ago. The building is also strategically positioned in the heart of the neighbourhood.
“ I say to you that the Adventist Church in Pembroke Hall is not by my planting, it is not Pastor Kevin Whyte’s planting, it is not the planting of any person but it is the planting of the Lord and this church militant in Pembroke Hall will be the church triumphant and today we have absolutely about God’s Church anywhere because the Lord is her leader and she will conqurer by faith”
In 2014, the church in East Jamaica Conference launched its Metro Mission 14 Hope for the City (MM14) Mega campaign initiative and was intended to target the largest urban populated regions in Jamaica under the initiative ‘Hope for the Big Cities’ under the leadership of the then president of the Conference, Pastor Adrian Cotterell.
According to the history of the church that was read by Carol Hunter, Elder of the Pembroke Hall SDA Church, Pastor Meric Walker and Pastor Kevin White rose up with a few men from Zone 3 and ventured into Pembroke Hall as part of the MM14 intitiave that was undertaken by the Conference.
“The pastors entered the Pembroke Hall area, pitched a tent, sanctified and blessed it”, and at the end of their campaign eighty six persons were baptized. The tent campaign began on May 3, 2014 . The two pastors were not alone but were supported in this venture by Pastors Manley Phillips and Holland Thompson with the support of the Washington Gardens, Balcolme Drive, White Hall Aveue, Meadowvale and New Haven Churches.
Walker was candid when he shared that the church had experienced many challenges in its eight year existence including finding a place to worship and identifying someone to lead the church. “ Pembroke Hall has not been a bed of rose” he said. “I had some sleepless nights trying to find a leader to take the rein, but one night I got a vision and the Lord directed me to Carol Hunter. ”
Pastor Walker reminded the church why it was planted ,” This church was planted to establish a ministry in Pembroke Hall that no other can give but the Advent Church”. The preacher of righteousness encouraged the church members to fortify their minds with the Word of God so that when the challenges of life come, they will be “rooted and grounded in Christ who is the solid rock.”
Church pastor for the Pembroke Hall Church and Meadowvale Church, Pastor Melvin Francis was more than happy that the day had come when the church would change its status and be recognized as a church. “Truly it is a delight for us to be here in God’s presence. This is the day we have come to organize this church and what a blessing it has been for the saints who have laboured, toiled and worked for the upliftment of the Kingdom. Today God has smiled on us.”
For Pastor Linton Williams, secretary of East Jamaica Conference it was an exciting time for the church. “This is a wonderful time for the church because for many years, we had been planning to have a church in the Pembroke Hall area. This is wonderful for the Washington Gardens Church, the Meadowvale, White Hall Avenue, Balcombe Drive and the New Haven Church, to know that your work did not go in vain and that there is now a church in the Pembroke Hall area. This is real history in the making.”
For Pastor Kevin White, the preacher who was used by God as his mouth piece to raise up this new congregation, it was shear joy to see what God had done over the years.
“ This is a very momentous occasion,” White said when he brought greetigs to the church. “I am always awestruck that God can choose us fallible human beings to shear in His cause and to play our part in the building up of his Kingdom here on earth and to hasten his coming.”
Scores of church leaders and members from the five churches that participated in the original campaign, were present to witness the new church board and leaders takethis historic event which was supervised by EJC president, Pastor Eric Nathan. The special prayer for the newly organised church was done by Pastor Leonard Steele, Health Ministries Director of the Conference.
In keeping with their new status and responsibilty books associated with church record keeping were presented to the church First Elder and Church Clerk by Elder Michael Porteous, Treasurer of the Conference.
“It is our desire for the Administration and the Conference to see Pembroke Hall continue in good health and to continue to prosper,” said Porteous. “And so the gift we have brought today is that which will strengthen her foundation, her effective operations and with God’s blessing she will have a successful ministry.”
President of East Jamaica Conference Pastor Eric Nathan already has high hopes for the church to grow and impact the community positively and he opened the invitation for members in the neighbouring churches of Meadowvale, Washington Gardens and New Haven SDA Church who are not actively involved in ministry to come over and hip build the Pembroke Hall church to bolster the leadership of the church.
“We have a problem now in the city to find space and to build churches and so with the help of our treasurer, I am looking forward to see a great edifice as we seek to transform this place to make it a center of influence to minister to the people now and in the future.”