For the first time in its 66 years of operation, the Central Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (CJC) has voted to employ a female Pastor.
Mrs Smythe-Forbes graduated from West Indies College (now Northern Caribbean University) in 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Religion and Theology. Since then she had been involved in various areas of ministry, including being a missionary to South Korea, and as a Bible Instructor with CJC in 2014 and 2016. She has, however, never been employed as a Pastor.
“Latoya is a dedicated, hard-working and committed worker”, says Pastor Devon Champier, Senior Pastor of the Asia District, where Latoya has been assigned since October 2016.
“I am overjoyed.” says Latoya. “I feel like someone who has been praying about something for a long time and when I least expected it, God came through for me.”
Pastor Smythe-Forbes was born in Hermitage, St. Andrew, to the parents of Shirley Johnson and Tyson Smythe. During her adolescent years, she migrated to the United States where she became a baptized member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Following her baptism, she made a covenant with God that she would live her life to serve Him in sharing the gospel with others.
Through God’s amazing guidance and provision, she attended the Northern Caribbean University (NCU), where she pursued a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theology with a Minor in Youth Ministry. Upon graduation in 1998 she went on to serve as a missionary for the General Conference of Seventh - day Adventist in South Korea.
In 2004 she was employed as Chaplain of the Victor Dixon High School, where she taught Religious Education to the Grade 9 – 12 students. The years 2010 to 2011 saw her serving as the Pastor of Administration at Madison Mission Seventh-day Adventist church in the USA. In May 2011, Pastor Smythe-Forbes completed a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Studies with a concentration in Church Development.
Latoya believes that God has given her a vision to create a model church that employs creative, revolutionary methods for church growth. She is excited to preach the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and is confident that God will bring to fruition His purposes in her life.
She is married to Egerton Forbes and together they have five children, Jaden (13), and Azriel (10), Talia (3) and 9 month old twins - Jamario and Lamario.