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Partial History of the Andrews Memorial Seventh-day Adventist Church

The Andrews Memorial Seventh-day Adventist Church, 29 Hope Road, Kingston 10, Jamaica has developed to an attractive place of worship and community services. The journey began in 1940 with the use of an annex to the Andrews Memorial Hospital (AMH), for devotional exercises for patients and staff of the hospital, and for a few older members of the community.

This Andrews Memorial Hospital Chapel (The Chapel), was a barn-like structure with the lower half of the walls made of block and steel, while the upper half was of wire mesh. This building is presently used as the Hospital Laundry.“Teething pains” were later felt; the Church Board meeting of September 12, 1955 announced that the AMH Board felt that The Chapel should be dissolved since it was not progressing! The Chapel Board members opposed this view and the then President of the East Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Pastor Ed Schnieder, helped The Chapel to secure its footing.

In 1956 a full-time Chaplain of the AMH and Pastor of The Chapel, became necessary. The late Pastor Owen P. Reid was appointed and soon began voicing his burden for a new and adequate chapel. The response was collection of funds for the project, on the one hand and opposition from the nearest health institution, on the other.

On July 26, 1964 the main corner stone was laid by the Most Honourable Edward Seaga, a former member of The Chapel Sabbath School. On April 24, 1966 the new Chapel was opened, with Guest Speaker Mr Eustace Bird, ‘Commissioner of Lands’ at the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation.

This new Chapel displayed a unique approach to church architecture. Rooms of four Sabbath School Divisions ran horizontally across the front of the building and parallel to Hope Road. A corridor for access to these rooms and to the main worship area, ran parallel behind the four rooms, such that the rooms were on one side of the corridor while the main worship area was on the other side.  The rooms at the front of the building would be used to serve the community free of charge by housing various classes, club meetings, relief work and electoral matters and to help to insulate the main worship area from traffic and other disturbances on the main road.

On December 24, 1988 The Chapel was dedicated as the Andrews Memorial Seventh-day Adventist Church (AMC). By 1990 this church had outgrown its seating capacity of about 500. To solve this problem the Church Administration instituted Two Divine Services per Sabbath, effective February 10, 2001 and had the building modified to accommodate an additional 250 persons. The modifications were essentially completed on December 29, 2005 and the AMC was rededicated on May 28, 2006 with 1238 members on record.

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