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Spiritual Baptists mark 7th year of recognition

Spiritual Baptists mark 7th year of recognition

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Sunday, May 17th, 2009, was a bittersweet day for Spiritual Baptists of the Mt. Carmel Spiritual Baptist Archdiocese Inc. of Chester Cottage.{{more}}

The event was celebrated for many reasons: it was the seventh year since the religion has been officially recognized by the Government of St.Vincent and the Grenadines and it is also the 58th Anniversary since Spiritual Baptists were given freedom to worship.

On the other hand, the celebratory mood was dampened when Archbishop Johnny Jones highlighted a situation that is brewing in Clare Valley which he said has the potential to seriously affect the worship of his fellow Spiritual Baptists of that district.

“Ah feel good and ah feel sad. Clare Valley Church has been there for over 50 odd years. Could you believe somebody just come and break down the church and leave the members outside. Ah feel so sad, nobody, nobody, to stand up. If it was a Methodist Church, fire would have been there already,” the Archbishop lamented.

“Baptist people are you with me? Are you with me that we are going to take the streets, we are going to court, we are going to take back the land? We intend to fight for that church,” said Jones.

He called on the leaders at Clare Valley to stand up and stage petitions to get back their church.

Bishop Benjamin Lucas, delivering his sermon, reminded the congregation to remain steadfast in a period when many Christians are losing their focus.

“The Lord doesn’t concern what religion you come from as long as you come to the Lord,” said Bishop Lucas.

With jubilation, he told the audience that unlike his father who was beaten by the police for being a Spiritual Baptist, members of the religion no longer have to hide from the Government or from the police.

He told the congregation that his father, while under arrest was compelled to pick up dog faeces with his bare hands while in the courtyard, but Spiritual Baptists today no longer have to endure such an experience.

“I am proud today to be a Spiritual Baptist, but most of all, I am proud to be a child of the Lord, and all of us should strive to be children of the Lord,” said Bishop Lucas.

The event was celebrated with two visiting Archbishops from Trinidad and Tobago -Archbishops Barbara Burke and Dorothy Hercules, as well as Minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs Selmon Walters and Senator Saboto Caesar.

Historian Dr. Adrian Fraser also gave a message to the Spiritual Baptists in which he told the story of the development of the religion in St.Vincent and the Grenadines. (HN)

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