Thirty persons from the Central Village District of Churches, comprising the Ebenezer, Central Village, Twickenham and Windsor Seventh-day Adventist Churches were recognized for their academic performance during the 2015-16 academic year.
The awardees ranged from GSAT and CSEC scholars to tertiary graduates who were presented with certificates and plaques at a special “Evening of Excellence” ceremony at the Central Village Seventh-day Adventist Church in St. Catherine, on November 5. The event was held under the theme “Excellence with a Purpose”.
“The importance of the Evening of Excellence is to acknowledge our children, motivate and encourage those who are coming behind to know that they can do very well in their academic pursuits”, Pastor Phoenix said. “We also wanted to show that education can be used as a route to economic independence, so persons would understand that they can get to a place where they will not always have to depend on others for financial support”, he added.
KNOW WHO YOU ARE
Guest Speaker at the event, Education Director, Jamaica Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Pastor Michael Henry encouraged the awardees to remain faithful to God, in the midst of their academic pursuits.
“I am saying to you young people (as you aspire for higher heights) remember that your first duty is to your God. Because that is what your identity is rooted in; without God you are nothing”, he said.
Referencing 1 Peter 2:9, Pastor Henry said, “Know who you are, know why you are here and remember who your God is, remember what he has done for you.” “Whatever you are doing (do it to the best of your ability), because God says that in excellence, we reflect him, because God is excellent”, he said.
Member of the Central Village SDA Church, Mr. Asley Smith who recently completed a Master’s Degree at Northern Caribbean University, also sought to inspire his fellow achievers. Describing his academic journey, he shared that he completed high school with only one subject, Mathematics (Basic Proficiency) at the CXC (now CSEC) level.
The evening also doubled as an appreciation ceremony for Pastor Phoenix and his wife Odean as well as sons Romone and O’Jay. The Phoenix family have been serving in the Central Village District of Churches for just over two years.