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Left: Baptist historian Doreen Morrison (right) leading a tour of historical Baptist sites in Jamaica.


Below: BWA President John Upton (left) and General Secretary Neville Callam (center) greet Jamaica Governor General Sir Patrick Allen at the Jamaica Welcome event during the BWA Annual Gathering.


The fi nal stop was at the St. Ann’s Bay Baptist Church where the group gathered for a short prayer at the site where tradition holds that chains, shackles and other implements of slavery were buried the night slavery was abolished in the British Empire in 1838. The burying of such objects occurred at several Baptist churches, including at the William Knibb Memorial Church.


Another group of 14 attendees at


the Annual Gathering, which included Baptist World Aid Director Rothangliani Chhangte, visited a BWAid-funded project in the inner city community of Jones Town in Kingston.


“Farming inna di City” (Farming in


the city) is an agricultural project of the Jones Town Baptist Church in association with the Jamaica Baptist Union Mission Agency, with collaboration from the Bethel Baptist Church Thrift Cooperative Society and the government’s Rural Agricultural Development Authority.


Its aim is to bring about urban renewal, food security, economic independence, educational development and to transform the lives of inner city residents through skills training and gainful employment. The project, which is in its second year, provides 12 people and their families with a source of income and food.


The group also went to the One Hundred Lane and Park Lane communities.


Both communities, which adjoin each other, have a history of violent rivalry that has resulted in deaths, injuries and the


burning of properties. Intervention


by the JBU beginning in 2002 through monthly meetings,


worship services,


Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, evangelism,


health services, education,


fi nancial assistance and other forms of help, has led to the ending of the violence. “It is our intention to continue these kinds of visits at future BWA Annual Gatherings where there are BWAid- supported projects,” Chhangte said. “It is an important way to identify with those who have been touched by Baptists around the world.”


Jamaican Baptists WELCOME International Delegation B


aptists in Jamaica put on a cultural and culinary


display to welcome


participants at the Baptist World Alliance Annual Gathering from July 1-6. The more than 400 Baptists


from


40 countries attending the conference, traveled to the Roaring River Great House to be treated to an authentic Jamaican experience, including local cuisine. Folk and contemporary music and dances were performed by the Baptist-owned William Knibb Memorial High School, the Bethel


Baptist Church Steel Band and the Jamaica Youth Chorale.


Governor General Sir Patrick Allen welcomed the BWA delegation


Prime Minister


Simpson Miller, whose message was read by government minister Headley, noted that


Natalie


Portia Neita-


and


commended Jamaican Baptists for their long history of commitment to freedom and nation building. He and head of government,


three of Jamaica’s


seven National Heroes were Baptists. Allen and Simpson Miller commended


BWA General Secretary Neville Callam, a Jamaican, on his leadership of the interna- tional umbrella Baptist organization. Callam is the fi rst person from the Carib- bean to lead a Christian world communion. Simpson Miller encouraged Baptists to


continue their role in having an impact on the lives of Jamaicans, especially through education and moral infl uence.


Other church and civic leaders were


present at the welcoming event, including the president and general secretary of the Jamaica Council of Churches, Everald Galbraith and Gary Harriot, respectively; Anglican Lord Bishop of Jamaica Howard Gregory; Custos Rotulorum of St. Ann Radcliffe Walters; and Mayor of St. Ann’ Bay Desmond Gilmore.


The Bethel Baptist Church Steel Band performs at the welcome reception OCTOBER/DECEMBER 2013 11

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