It was decades ago, under the Pastorship of Jeff Jefferson that a church was erected at Ellen Street, following a successful tent crusade in the area.
However, the members of the church soon lost their building after a major hurricane struck and found themselves in other sister churches with a hope that one day God would restore His sanctuary.
A view of the congregation during the Homeward Bound Evangelistic Series at Ellen Street in February 2018. | Credits: Andrew Johnson, CJC
Pastor Damian Chambers, evangelist for the Evangelistic Series that helped to resurrect the Ellen Street Church. 41 persons were baptized during the series. | Credits: Andrew Johnson, CJC
Ellen street has always been ripe for evangelism and in February 2018, Pastor Damian Chambers, Communication Director at the Central Jamaica Conference (CJC) with the assistance of then Pastor, Devon Champier and now Pastor, Latoya Smythe- Forbes, led the Homeward Bound tent crusade. 41 persons were baptized during that series.
Following its success, greater emphasis was placed on securing a place of worship for the new and old converts in the community and its surroundings.
Front runner in the move for establishing a church at Ellen Street, Dr. Clarence Barnes said it was his wife’s idea to have a church in the area.
A tent was erected earlier this year but that was not the ideal as a permanent structure was needed for a comfortable worship environment. With need for land on which to establish the building, Dr. Barnes began the hunt. He found a plot of land near to the area where the previous structure was established. However, it was not until a year had passed that they were able to secure it.
“The people who owned the land were not willing to sell it initially they said they wanted to keep it in the family…. After a year I called back, and the answer was still the same.”
Barnes said he went on that plot of land one day and prayed; making a declaration that through Jesus Christ the church would be situated right there. He revealed that one week later, the owners of the land called back to say they were willing to sell.
Speaking at the dedicatory service for sections of the new building, recently (Sabbath January 19, 2019) Dr. Barnes said, “…Everything that is necessary to us is given to us through Christ…”
Having played a crucial role in the establishment of what will not only be a place of worship but a centre for wholesome community activities, the Treasury Department of the Conference pledged its continuous support to the physical and spiritual building of the temple.
“As we galvanize a group here, we are looking to you, the community and all the stakeholders we can get to come on board to do get this done… our immediate projection is to make the are more comfortable” said Conference Treasurer Elder Billy Watson
“…Indeed this is a Macedonian call to leave our comfort zones, to leave our churches that are already built and come over into Ellen Street, because there are persons here that need Jesus” Said President, CJC Pastor Levi Johnson
He commended Clarence Barnes and his wife Sylvia for their labour of love and prayed for their continued strength to carry on the work of the Lord.
In acknowledging the members who have left their different churches to be a part of Ellen Street, he asked that prayers be with the administration of the conference so the movement of this church can be fully supported by the conference.
“I pray we will be kept in unity, because unity is strength”