Adventist Church in St. Thomas re-energized after historic mid-year Convocation
Written by: Phillip E. L. Castell, Director, Communication, Public Affairs & Religious Liberty | Friday, September 6, 2019
The Adventist Church in St. Thomas held an historic Mid – Year Convocation at the Morant Bay SDA Church under the theme ‘Give me this Mountain’ during the period August 28 – 31, 2019 which served to re-energize and motive the church towards achieving greater evangelistic exploits for the Lord in the coming months. Nine persons were baptized at the end of the convocation which saw pastors and members from all five pastoral districts in the parish in attendance during the series.
Guest speaker for the Holy convocation was president of the Lake Region Conference, Pastor R. Cleveland Jones, whose dynamic preaching of the Word of God, captured the attention of the congregation from the opening night.
Speaking to a packed church with overflow sitting under a tent pitched at the side of the Morant Bay SDA Church on August 31, 2019, Jones reminded the congregation of the distinctive message of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and challenged pastors, leaders and members not to be afraid of preaching the message that God has called the church at this time.
His final message to the church in the four day convocation was based on the passage of scripture found in Psalm 11:3 - “If the foundations be destroyed, what will the righteous do?” The veteran preacher skillfully used his knowledge in construction and Adventist denominational history to make his point to the church.
“Beloved there are certain tenets and doctrines that are basic and foundational to Seventh-day Adventism. Some of these are called pillars, others are called waymarks. Still others are called landmarks. These truths have made the Seventh-day Adventist Church what it is. They have made us what we are and who we are. They have set us apart as God’s remnant truth loving people who keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus Christ.”
The veteran minister of the gospel who has been preaching for more than forty years, was direct in his utterances and encouraged the church to fulfill its unique purpose in the time of the end.
According to Jones the early pioneers of the Adventist church paid attention and emphasis to “the law of God, the sanctuary in heaven, the health message and lifestyle reform”. All of these were understood in the context of the cross and the second coming of Jesus, Jones said.
“It is what gave the pioneers there reason for being and these pillars differentiated Seventh-day Adventists from other Adventist believers of the nineteenth century and constituted the foundations of the Seventh-day Adventist Church,” added Jones.
The four day convocation which was planned and executed under the leadership of Zone 4 leader pastor Melvin Francis was viewed as a success. According to Francis, the meetings were designed to bring spiritual revival, rejuvenation and motivation and accomplished their objective. “This was a new initiative for the zone and it was historic,” Francis said when asked to give feedback on the meetings. “It was part of the vision I had for the parish and I plan to make this an annual event,” he added.
Executive Secretary of the Conference, Pastor Linton Williams commended Pastor Francis for his leadership of the church in the parish of St. Thomas and publicly disclosed that the Conference Administration was satisfied with the leadership they had seen from Francis since he was placed at the Morant Bay Church as Zone leader just over a year ago
“This is just excellent and we are happy for what we see,” Pastor Linton Williams said when he brought greeting on behalf of the Conference Administrators and directors. “We are very happy for the work we have seen. For the togetherness and the spiritual and evangelistic fervency and energy that we see in this zone leader,”
Ministerial Secretary of Jamaica Union Conference and Special Assistant to the president with responsibility for Evangelism, Pastor Joseph Smith who brought greetings on behalf of Pastor Everett Brown also commended the Conference and Pastor Francis and the team of pastors in St. Thomas for the work they have been doing in recent months and urged the church members to do all they can to make disciples in preparation for the coming of Jesus Christ. .