Press Release:- The Calvary Baptist Church at Massade, Gros Islet, celebrates its 50th anniversary with a number of events that begin on Friday 8th February. The theme chosen for this milestone is “Keeping the faith.”
The guest speaker for the anniversary services is Dr. Glendon Thompson.
Dr. Thompson serves as senior pastor of Jarvis Street Baptist Church, Toronto, Canada, president of Toronto Baptist Seminary, professor of Biblical Studies, and editor of the Gospel Witness. He was born in Jamaica and studied education at Church Teachers’ College, Mandeville.
He completed a Ph.D. in theology and postmodern philosophy at the University of Potchefstroom. He has also pursued post-doctoral studies at the University of Oxford, England. Dr. Thompson has authored numerous theological articles and spoken at conferences in Canada, Africa, India, the USA, and the Caribbean.
The church was established at Massade in 1969 though the work of church-planting had begun some years earlier. It was first situated on Notre Dame Street. As the work progressed, a group of three women missionaries, Marjorie Mitchell, Audrey Finkbeiner, and Iris Castle, came to the island in 1953. They laboured faithfully to keep the work going by conducting Vacation Bible School, Bible Club and other activities. Eventually, in 1955, the small church was established as Calvary Baptist Church, with six (6) charter members.
In 1969, a parcel of land at Massade was purchased and a church built to accommodate about sixty (60) persons. The church building was dedicated in 1970 with approximately twenty (20) members. A transportation ministry serving the nearby communities helped the church to grow and believers took encouragement as the prospects got brighter. Five years later the church called Pastor Hilcious Hippolyte as its first Pastor. Four years later Pastor Hippolyte resigned and Pastor Cyril Hilton was called. He served for twelve (12) years. From 1997, the Calvary Baptist
Church has been administered by Elders who pastor the church together. The present Elders are Kenty Pamphile, Joseph Charles, John Robert Lee and Lincoln Auguste.
While the work was started in 1955 as Calvary Baptist Church, the church uses 1969 when it moved to its present site at Massade, as its official anniversary date.
Many of its members come from outside of Gros Islet. The congregation includes many young persons who have grown up in the church and many who have joined as young adults. Many of these young persons play leading roles in the work and services of the church.
The church was destroyed by Hurricane Allen in 1980 but was rebuilt with the help of a Canadian church.
The 50th Anniversary celebrations begin with a youth rally on Friday February 8th. The main services start on Sunday 10th from 10 am with an afternoon service at 3 pm. From Monday to Wednesday, at 7 pm, preaching services will be held. On Friday 15th a special Awards service and dinner will take place at the Bay Gardens hotel where pioneer founders of the church will be recognized and honored.
The public is invited to join the church for its celebratory services at Massade from Friday 8th to Wednesday 13th.