CWD Makes Historic Launch of Church Building Project in St. Thomas


Written by: Phillip E. L. Castell, Director, Communication, Public Affairs & Religious Liberty | Thursday, January 10, 2019


Sunday, December 30, 2018, will go down in history not only as the last Sunday for the year 2018 but also as the day when the Conference Wide Development (CWD) Team officially handed over the architectural drawings and officially launched the expansion and reconstruction project of the Wheelerfield SDA Church in St. Thomas.

The church emerged at the top of the list of churches that is in urgent need of assistance in the parish and received the blessing of the CWD Committee reconstruction project under the supervision of the CWD Team headed by Elder Desmond Young. 

“On behalf of the leadership of the CWD Committee on this thirtieth day of December 2018, I would like to officially declare the project here at Wheelerfield launched,” Gyles said, looking with pride at the church pastor, Marvin Chin and Sis. Thompson, First Elder of the Wheelerfield SDA Church.

Addressing a packed church filled with ASI Missionaries and their parents who journeyed from Kingston with their leader Elder Claudette Genas to identify with and participate in the Wheelerfield SDA Church

rebuilding project, Elder Donmayne Gyles, Treasurer, EJC, gave the background to the incident which precipitated the church expansion project.  

“It all began in early 2018 when a certain lady got up at Convention and shared her passion about her church and the condition in which it was in,” Gyles said. “She was passionate that the Wheelerfield Church was neglected by the Conference,” added Gyles.  

At the Convention, both the EJC President, Pastor Eric Nathan and Chairman of the CWD Team Elder Desmond Young, made commitments to the membership of St. Thomas that they would be coming back and giving support to every church in St. Thomas.  

Gyles noted that the Young made good on his promise and was at Wheelerfield with some of his CWD team members at the next site visit.  Subsequent visits and discussions with church pastor, Marvin Chin and the church leadership, resulted in what transpired on December 30, 2018.

He publicly thanked CWD Chairman Desmond Young and his team for the tremendous work they have been doing in the Conference over the past three years.

“On behalf of our Conference Administration, directors and our pastors of zone four, we are delighted to see the launch of this project to rebuild the Wheelerfield Seventh-day Adventist Church,” the Conference treasurer said.

“Many Sundays like this, they are on the road from as early as 6:30 am and returning sometimes as late as 9:30 pm giving voluntary service. The CWD Committee has come to the kingdom at such a time as this to help in the widespread development of our Conference,” added Gyles.

Elder Young, who by profession is a civil engineer, disclosed that the field trip by the CWD / ASI Missionary Team was the final act on their calendar of events for 2018.

Meanwhile, Women, Children and Adolescents Director for the Conference, Elder Claudette Genas, was more than grateful for the privilege extended to her and over 60 members of her ASI Mission Team members and their parents to be on the field trip.  Genas declared that over the past 6 years, the ASI Missionaries have been involved in building projects overseas when they go on mission trips but have never had the opportunity locally to participate as a group in a building project of this nature on Jamaican soil.

 ASI Missionaries made fun of the work as they moved building blocks closer to the construction site for the workmen as they prepared to lay the foundation for the new church building. Despite the rains that fell in the afternoon, this did not stop the workers from getting the job done.

Victoria Bennett, one of the ASI Missionaries who has been a part of the team since 2013 said for her as a girl it was a good experience as she has been exposed to this kind of work for more than six years.

“Even though I am dirty and everything, I find it interesting and a good experience,” said Victoria.

Her very good friend Abigail Whittingham said the experience for her was wonderful.  “It was very pressuring as well, as my hands are burning, but I find great pleasure in doing something that makes a difference and I can’t wait to do it again,” she said.

Shamar Watson, another of the ASI Missionaries said “Coming to Wheelerfield the experience has been great and it is always good when we can help to build another church to bring more souls to Jesus.”

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