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Evangelical Association celebrates 25 years

Evangelical Association celebrates 25 years

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The Association of Evangelical Churches of SVG, like our nation, celebrates another significant milestone this year – its 25th anniversary of existence.

The association was formed in May 1979 through the ordeal of the La Soufriere eruption, which especially devastated the northern side of the island forcing the inhabitants to move southward. {{more}}Those persons took refuge in public shelters such as schools, community centres and churches.

At that time of crisis, the religious leaders and Christian community were required to offer every possible assistance, beyond the spiritual. This included managing and helping with the smooth running of shelters. It was at that point that a core of religious leaders recognized the need to unite and form the organization.

A founding member and past president of the Association, Maxwell Providence, stated that two outstanding causes gave rise to the formation of the association.

“We recognized the need for coordinated ministries in the camps. What was happening was that churches were just coming, doing their part and then leaving. Sometimes there were four or five different churches a day. If one came and met another, it would just await its turn. We knew we needed to help change that and get the Christian community to unite and have coordinated ministries.

“Also, in light of the devastation in the northern side, outside organizations wanted to offer assistance, but they would not work through any one church. Forming an organization was the solution to that problem.”

And as a result of uniting, the association was able to secure aid from outside sources, World Relief being the biggest contributor.

“We had an interdenominational meeting and dinner at the Cobblestone Inn in May 1979, where at least 28 pastors attended, and it was there that the organization was launched,” Providence stated.

The executive that led the organization at its inception was comprised of pastors – Elford Stephens (president), George Frederick (vice president), Manasseh King (treasurer), Maxwell Providence (secretary) and Isaac Soleyn (nominated member).

Since then, the association has had four other presidents, Maxwell Providence, Noel Clarke, Verrol Blake and presently, John Lewis.

During that time of disaster the churches that united were able to coordinate various aspects of ministries, especially within the camps.

With the assistance of World Relief and other outside organizations, they were able to help feed the people in the camps. Even after persons returned to their homes in the north, the organization was still able to supply them with food provided by World Relief.

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