Story by Fabia Phillips Lawrence, Photos by Phillip E.L. Castell
Published | January 20, 2014
It was a low keyed yet well energized convention held on the cool Sunday morning of January 19, 2014 at the Kencot Seventh-day Adventist church. Under the theme "Revival & Reformation", persons from several different congregations led out in preliminary exercises for the morning's service and the song "There's gonna be a revival" from the Penwood choir ushered in the main speaker Pastor Everett Brown, the President of the Jamaica Union Conference of SDA. He was ably introduced by the President of the East Jamaica Conference of SDA, Pastor Adrian Cotterell.
Pastor Brown started off by offering prayers for Pastors and others who recently lost family members. He also told the eager congregation that he prayed that EJC and the entire Jamaica Union would experience the outpouring of the spirit in 2014 and God would allow the country to prosper. "There is a sense that exists that God is dead, but my God is as powerful today as he was yesterday," he said. He went on to preach about the mercies of God towards his people and insisted that men must know that the promises of God are sure. Pastor Brown added, "God means what he says, he will never turn his back on us. God may not be an on time God in our estimation...but we cannot lose hope, we cannot lose confidence in God."
Following his timely charge, the Associate Sabbath School and Personal Ministries Director, Sis. Kathleen Dunkley, gave the prayer of commitment followed by a powerful testimony by Sis. Rhoena Mitchell. Sis. Mitchell gave the experience of falling sick suddenly at home one day and when a Medical Doctor arrived, he almost pronounced her dead but in caution just declared her blind and dead on one side of the body. She was sent to a Hospital and Medical Doctors there also went for documents and came very close to pronouncing her dead based on the fact she had no pulse and was barely breathing. Nurses attending to her were startled to hear her speak moments after, having thought she was dead too. They later described her as the "Talking Duppy". She told Nurses about someone being in the room with her and massaging the side of her body that was declared dead. The Medical Staff could not confirm another person being in the room with them but declared they weren't the ones who carried out the act. She concluded her testimony by affirming that "miracles do happen", and "God is good."
That section of the service concluded and there was a quick launch into the housekeeping activities of Convention 2014. First up was Pastor Cotterell who did a quick campaign on the conference's big project, Metro Mission 14 (MM14). According to him, the conference has not abandoned the "Vision one million" campaign, but the "MM14 – Hope for the City" campaign is one that will be the focus now.
A video report was later aired highlighting all the major events for 2013, followed by a report from the Conference's Secretary, Pastor Devon Osbourne, and the Financial Report by the Treasurer, Elder Waldon Wright. Arising from the financial report, the top ten churches in terms of Tithe and Offering contribution were listed with the Andrews Memorial church taking the top spot yet another year. Kencot, New Haven, Meadowvale and North Street followed respectively.
There were some churches which showed large percentage increases in their contributions such as the Clarks Hill SDA which emerged on top. Bedward Gardens, Ginger Piece, Stony Hill and Riverton followed in that order.
Following those comprehensive reports there was another promotion on MM14 along with promotions about Adventist schools as well as the Ingathering Report. The curtains then came down on Convention 2014.