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Chedwin Gardens Organized as the 199th Church in Central Jamaica Conference

Published: 13-05-2018 |

The Chedwin Gardens Seventh-day Adventist Church, St. Catherine, was organized as the 199th Church of Central Jamaica Conference (CJC), thanks to the work and support of the ASI Prayer Ministry.

The service of organization was conducted by the Administrators of CJC on Sabbath, May 12, 2018, under a small tent in the Chedwin Gardens Community where the group has been worshipping for the past 5 years.

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Members of the newly organized Chedwin Gardens Seventh-day Adventist Church poses for a photo. Also included at the front--seated (L-R): Lascelles Davis, First Elder, Franklyn Brown, Pastor of the Sydenham District, Levi Johnson, President of CJC, Nevail Barrett, Executive Secretary, CJC, Billy Watson, Treasurer, CJC and Marcia Frazer (in wheelchair), a member of the Chedwin Gardens Church. | Credits: Damian Chambers

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Forty-one (41) persons were voted into membership of the new congregation, while 7 others requested their membership to be transferred in. The service of organization was attended by pastors and members of the churches within the Sydenham and Family of God Districts of Churches.

As soon as Conference Secretary, Pastor Nevail Barrett did a review of the 28 fundamental teachings of the Adventist Church, the act of Organization was done by Conference President, Pastor Levi Johnson.

The first step towards organization was to vote a nucleus of the first 3 members of the church. These were Elder Lascelles Davis, leader of the ASI Prayer Ministry and First Elder of the New Congregation, Evett Dixon, Treasurer and Novelette Williams, Church Clerk. After the nucleus was formed, Pastor Johnson invited them to accept the other 39 persons into fellowship by vote. All 41 members had to affirm their acceptance of the 28 Fundamental Beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church before being accepted into fellowship.

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Pastor Levi Johnson addresses the congregation as he takes steps to perform the act of organization. Seated to his right are (R-L) Pastor Franklyn Brown, Pastor of the Sydenham District and Nevail Barrett, Executive Secretary, CJC. | Credits: Damian Chambers

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In his greetings and charge to the new congregation, Pastor Johnson thanked Elder Lascelles Davis and other members of the ASI Prayer Ministry for responding to the Macedonian call to enter the Chedwin Gardens community. He also expressed appreciation to all the leaders of the supporting churches within the Sydenham District for their commitment to the work and the role they played in establishing the new congregation.

Pastor Johnson gave an admonition that he said applied to all persons who will be teaching in the new church. “All that we teach and do, including our music, should fall in line with 28 Fundamental Beliefs of the Adventist Church”, said Pastor Johnson.

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A group of five sisters of the Chedwin Gardens Church presents a song during the service of Organization. | Credits: Damian Chambers

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The act of organization was completed with the Prayer of Dedication by Conference Treasurer Pastor Billy Watson.

Brief History of the Church

As mentioned above, the Chedwin Gardens Sabbath School started through the efforts of the ASI Prayer Ministry, led by Elder Lascelles Davis while he was a member of the Wynters Acres Church. In 2010, Elder Davis and the ASI Prayer Ministry in partnership with the Crescent Church (who were part of the Family of God District at the time) made plans to start a new congregation in the Angels Community. However, the plans were diverted when the Crescent Church became part of the Clear Park District.

The ASI Prayer Ministry members turned their attention to the Bernard Lodge area, as it was proposed to have a housing development. They were told that a lot would be made available for a Church. Representatives of the ASI Prayer Ministry, on several occasions, met with the late Mr. Hutchinson, a director of the Bernard Lodge Sugar Company, to discuss the possibility of getting the proposed church lot.

The Bernard Lodge project was moving very slowly so they decided to look at other areas. The ASI Prayer Ministry members prayed earnestly for God’s guidance. The Chedwin Gardens area was considered, and bible workers were dispatched to start bible studies with persons within the area. The Pastor of the Sydenham District of Churches, Pastor Franklyn Brown was contacted, as the Chedwin Gardens community was within the territory of the Sydenham District.

Pastor Brown was always willing to listen and to give advice. The ‘Chedwin Project’ became the subject of earnest prayer among the members of the ASI Prayer Ministry and church prayer groups.

In June 2015, Elder Davis took the bold step to start a small congregation in the Chedwin Gardens Housing Scheme. The venue was the Chedwin Gardens Basic School. Permission was granted by the School’s Board. Several persons were baptized that same year, while some members of the Adventist Church who resided in the Chedwin Gardens, White Waters and Jackaranda areas also joined the group. Soon after, the numbers swelled beyond the space that the Basic School provided.

In 2016 the congregation started worshipping at a spot adjacent to the school under a tent provided by the Central Jamaica Conference.

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View of the tent that houses the worship services for the Chedwin Gardens Church. The Chedwin Gardens Church was recently organized with 48 members. | Credits: Damian Chambers

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During 2016 and 2017 over 40 persons were baptized, thanks to evangelistic efforts conducted by Elder Lascelles Davis, Pastor Franklyn Brown and Elder Garfield Evans of the Sydenham Church.

The Chedwin congregation (as they are affectionately called) was also a downlink site to the recently held Net 2018 online evangelistic series by the Central Jamaica Conference. This effort resulted in the baptism of two persons.

Chedwin has held numerous community outreach programmes, including clinics, CSEC and other classes and an annual children’s treat.

During his greeting, Conference President Pastor Levi Johnson expressed thanks to the Board Members of the Basic School for the support they gave to the new congregation.

The History of the Church was written and presented by Sister D. Davis.

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