Saturday, November 10, 2012

Hephezibah Baptist Church | Portland, Jamaica

Hephezibah Baptist Church one of the oldest buildings in the communities of Islington, Black rock and Castle has been the pillar of the community since 1949. The structure built of cut stones hewn from the neighborhood and as far away as terrains such as Happy Hill, Commodore and as close as Castle Comfort  Errol Flynn property in Boston Jamaica .

The Church was built through the generosity of the community laboriously sacrificed it members and a well served community. In the early fifties Hephezibah Baptist Church was the place that housed people that suffered the 1951 Storm and the 1954 storm. Today after many Storms Hephezibah Baptist Church has suffered her most serious setback and need your help.

Hephezibah Baptist Church August 2011
My childhood church Hephezibah Baptist Church in Priestmans River Portland need your help, Hurricane Sandy removed its roof. This is a Picture of the Church in August 2011 on my last visit, the picture below represents what it look like today.

Hephezibah Baptist Church after Hurricane Sandy.

Whenever Jamaican Baptists talk about their early beginnings two significant points in history come to mind: 1783 and 1849. It was in 1783 that the first Baptist missionary arrived, a freed black slave from the USA and an ordained minister. In 1849 the Jamaica Baptist Union was founded. By that time, Baptist work was well established in the country with congregations in almost every parish and an enviable testimony of having played a leading role in the abolition of slavery (in 1834). 

Three of Jamaica's national heroes were Baptists George William Gordon, Paul Bogle and Nanny the denomination was in the forefront of addressing the educational, economic and social needs of the emancipated people. Baptist work benefited from a partnership with the Baptist Missionary Society (UK) which dispatched its first missionary to the country in 1814 and was instrumental in establishing, in 1842, the Jamaica Baptist Missionary Society, an agency to take the gospel to Africa. 

The Jamaica Baptist Union is very firm in terms of its autonomy with regard to missionary partners. As early as 1842 it declared its financial independence from the Baptist Missionary Society. The JBU itself has a history of sending out missionaries to various islands of the Caribbean and to Africa.

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