Trench Town SDA Celebrates 70th Anniversary


Written by: Phillip E. L. Castell, Director, Communication, Public Affairs & Religious Liberty | Friday, March 2, 2018


Pastor Eric Nathan, Guest Speaker

Pastor Eric Nathan, Guest Speaker

The Trench Town SDA Church commenced its 70th Anniversary Celebrations with a church service to mark the occasion on February 24, 2018 under the theme:  Remember, Reflect, Renew.   The guest speaker for the morning’s service was Pastor Eric Nathan, president, EJC.

It was an important milestone for the church that had provided seventy years of ministry to an inner city community that has been torn by war and political violence for decades.

“I am happy that God has lead us this far,” said Elder Marie Graham, First Elder of the Trench Town SDA Church as she addressed the church during the Divine Service. Despite the challenges, the brethren at the church were happy as God had been leading them over the years and had kept them through difficult times.

Over the years, the Trench Town SDA Church was known for its rich music heritage and this was highlighted by Conference president Pastor Eric Nathan when he commended the young men of the group “Purpose” who sang the meditation song for the day.

“I am grateful for the way the Trench Town Church has continued the heritage of good music. Anywhere you go and hear about Trench Town

the name of the church is associated with good music,” Nathan said.

Referring to the theme chosen for the 70th Anniversary Celebration, Pastor Nathan said if  a church had  been around for seventy years, then it calls for time   to remember the things of the past. “It calls for us from time to time to stop and reflect on some of the past experiences even as we move forward with renewed energy,” Nathan said.

Pastor Nathan encouraged the church   not only to think of the success of the past only but to also reflect on the things which have caused them to fail.   He said it was a time of repentance for the church “because whether consciously or unconsciously, we would have erred along the way and would have made mistakes. “

As part of the celebration for the morning, Elder Alphanso Marshall was recognized as one of the longest serving members of the church and as the longest serving elder with over 25 years of service to his credit.

In his reflection, Elder Marshall recalled   a time in the 1980’s when gun men fired at the church and members had to run for cover under the benches.

He recalled the tireless work of faithful church members who had sacrificed their time and resources to lift up the name of Christ in a community that has gained worldwide recognition from reggae icon

Elder Alphanso Marshall (L)  being recognized  as the longest serving Elder of the church by Elder Marie Graham

Elder Alphanso Marshall (L) being recognized as the longest serving Elder of the church by Elder Marie Graham

Bob Marley, who once lived just down the streets.   

Pastor Eric Nathan and  Manley Phillips, former pastors of the Trench Town SDA Church

Pastor Eric Nathan and Manley Phillips, former pastors of the Trench Town SDA Church

Pastor Manley Phillips, Associate Ministerial Secretary & Men’s Ministry Director, EJC and a former pastor of the Trench Town Church also remembered a time when guns barked in the church and members had to seek cover for their lives. 

“I pastored this church more than twenty seven years ago and I remember having to use my foot to clear out under the pulpit to hide from gunshots,” recalled Phillips.

Both Pastor Manley Phillips and Eric Nathan served as pastors of the Trench Town SDA Church with    Eric Nathan serving twice during his earlier years in the ministry.

Greetings and congratulations to the Trench Town church were conveyed in a prerecorded message by Pastor Everett Brown, President of the SDA Church in Jamaica who was unavoidably absent. He commended the church for its witness and powerful ministry to the community for the past seventy years.

Greetings were also sent from the Regent Street SDA Church which is the mother church for Trench Town by Elder Michael Vernal, First Elder of the Regent Street SDA Church who commended Elder Marie Graham and the board of Elders along with the church members for the many accomplishments of the church over the ears.  

Greetings were also given by the Elder of the Whitfield Town SDA Church, the daughter church of the Trench Town SDA Church.

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