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SDA Launches South Leeward Mission

GG-cuts-the-ribbonAntigua, St John's - The Seventh-day Adventist congregations in Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts-Nevis, and Montserrat made history on Sunday March 6 with the launch of the South Leeward Mission (SLM) of Seventh-day Adventist.

Over 400 members and dignitaries including Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer, along with representatives from the Guyana, Grenada and the South Caribbean conferences, the St Vincent region, Tobago, and St Lucia missions, and the Caribbean Union Conference gathered at the St John’s Seventh-day Adventist Church in Antigua to mark the historic event under the theme, “Celebrating Our Heritage, Fulfilling The Mission.”

To solidify their union in the new Mission, the national anthems of the three island states were sung, followed by the handing over of the three national flags and instrument to the new president of SLM, Pastor Desmond James, by Pastor Silton Browne, president of the North Caribbean Conference (NCC).

Pastor Browne noted that based on changes in the church’s organisational structure, five of the 16 islands which made up the NCC are now being placed into the care of the SLM, headquartered here in Antigua.

Browne challenged the new president, “by the grace of God, to give caring, supportive servant leadership that is progressive and relevant.” He continued, “I challenge you to nurture the flock, always keeping in mind our true purpose and mission so that ultimately Sir, when Jesus comes, you along with us will be able to give sound account of your stewardship to the honour and glory of God.”Dr Daniel, GG and PM Spencer

In accepting the challenge, Pastor James, who hails from St Kitts, pledged to “uphold the ideals of the new mission” which were entrusted to him. He said, “This sacred trust we will pursue diligently and practically so that when we should be called to give account of those entrusted to us we might be found faithful.”

Before giving the blessing of the world church, President of the Inter American Division Dr Israel Leito noted that there were several factors which had to be considered before granting the five islands mission status.

“We had to see if the church can live without the tutorship of the NCC; we looked at the maturity of the membership and I can pleasantly offer that the Lord has a strong vineyard in this area,” Dr Leito said.

He noted that the Division had to be assured that the islands would be able to finance the institutions (schools, home for the elderly, radio station, book stores etc) in the area so that the work would continue to progress.


In declaring SLM the 118th local field in the Inter American Division, Dr Leito said the mission would now report to the Caribbean Union instead of the NCC. He challenged the new mission not to remain at this level, but “plan to become the SLC (South Leeward Conference).”

Dr Leito, who also delivered the keynote address, focussed on Eph 4:1-7. He encouraged the membership to “live a life worthy of the calling we have received.”

“Don’t be distracted … be a testimony to others in the community," he said. "Let your life be under the control of the Holy Spirit; reach out not only to members of the faith but be the best neighbour to all around.”

Following the service, the inaugural session of the SLM was held. Those chosen to spearhead the new mission are President James and Executive Secretary/Treasurer Pastor Carson Greene (both previously chosen by the Caribbean Union) along with directors Pastor Wayne Knowles, Pastor Kendol Doyle, Dr Eulalie Semper, and Sis Sonia Smith.


Earlier that afternoon, the new Mission dedicated their headquarters on American Road. In his keynote address, Dr Eugene Daniel, president of the Caribbean Conference, urged the membership to make their headquarters more than a mere building, but an embassy of God to all the people in this region.

Also present at the dedication ceremony were Governor-General of Antigua and Barbuda Dame Louis Lake-Tack; Minister of Finance Harold Lovell; Minister of Agriculture Hilson Baptiste; Senator Winston Williams; and other government officials.

The SLM has a membership of 12,200, with six churches and two companies in St Kitts; five churches in Nevis; two churches and one company in Montserrat, and 28 churches and three companies in Antigua & Barbuda.

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4 Comments In This Article   

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GOD is GREAT, the GREATEST is he.

#4 my way of helping » 2011-03-10 11:36

I am happy, we will have more words from God and I do hope that our leaders from God, also advise and get involve in the running of our country with the principles God teaches us to follow.
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my way of helping

Congratulations

#3 Ruth Butler » 2011-03-10 11:19

Congratulations to the president Pastor James and the members of SLC. May God continue to bless you as you accept your responsibility to fining the work in your area.
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Ruth Butler

Jesus is coming again!

#2 SDA Member » 2011-03-10 09:19

Congrats and Good job. Let us show leadership and serve well with all our heart to finish the work.
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SDA Member

RE: SDA Launches South Leeward Mission

#1 Antiguan Adventist in NY » 2011-03-10 05:01

Christ is coming soon. Great to see the islands expanding to finish the work so we can go home.
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Antiguan Adventist in NY

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