The Lionel Town Seventh-day Adventist church was dedicated after sixty-nine years since being established as a company.
The service of dedication was conducted by the Administrators of Central Jamaica Conference (CJC) while, Dr. Joseph Ass. President, and Ministerial Secretary JAMU, officiated the ribbon cutting ceremony, on Sunday, April 28, 2019.
The service continued with the opening of the front doors to the churches’ main worship hall, by Pastor Levi Johnson , President, CJC,followed by the opening of windows and other doors by members from the various churches within the Lionel Town district of churches and community members.
Approximately, 70 persons including members and visitors were welcomed and commended for their attendance by Anthony Dowding, Pastor of the Lionel Town District of churches.
“I am delighted that you have chosen to be here to share in this memorable occasion. Today this church is being dedicated for mission and your presence here is a testament to your commitment to this task, ”he said.
In his greetings, President Johnson praised the leaders and members of the Lionel Town church for their persistence, sacrifice and tireless commitment to building the house of God.
He also recognized the leaders and members of the supporting churches within the District for their commitment to the work and the role they played in assisting with the building the church.
“Though it was a long journey you have stuck to the task and given of your best, to God be the Glory,” he said.
He also made mention of the CJC Builder’s League that is to be implemented soon. "This initiative will help to complete church buildings that have been under construction for many years and have not been completed."
“Through the combined efforts of the conference’s resources and those of its membership these churches will be brought to the point of dedication to the honor and glory of the Lord,” he said.
Billy Watson, Treasurer, CJC endorsed this while thanking members for their hard work in getting the building ready for dedication. He said it is not only inviting on the outside but inside you feel welcomed as you enter into an atmosphere of worship.
In his charge to the congregation Dr. Joseph Smith, reminded the congregation that the church is an important agency in the salvation process and this function should never be treated lightly.
“God’s people are the avenues through which he reveals himself to the world, to let the world know there is hope in Jesus,” said Dr Smith.
The act of dedication was completed with the reading of the Litany by Pastor Levi Johnson and the Prayer of Dedication by Conference Executive Secretary Pastor Nevail Barrett.
The dedicatory ceremony was preceded by a special recognition ceremony on Sabbath April 27.
During the ceremony a total of nineteen pastors were recognized for their contribution to the growth and development of the Lionel Down SDA church.
Pastor Daniel Pink who served from 1995- 1999, said that he was humbled at the recognition and is happy to have shared in the journey of this great church.
“I am very proud of where the church is today, truly, we have come this far by faith, he said.
Full Church History
Arthur Wilson, a Seventh-day Adventist from St. James moved with his family to a house in Lionel Town, namely South Street, at that time there was no Seventh-day Adventist Church in Lionel Town. Each Sabbath, he and his family sat on their verandah and worshipped the Lord on His Holy day. Persons were invited to join this meeting; some accepted the invitation and before long the group grew.
They were joined by Brother Percival Dawkins and his wife who got baptized at the Race Course S. D.A Church from an evangelistic series conducted by Pastor H.S Walters. Shortly, afterwards another evangelistic series was conducted by Pastor K.G Vaz at Market Square in Lionel Town, where Marvietta Dacosta accepted the invitation, got baptized and became an Adventist.
The verandah soon became over crowded, and they moved under an ackee tree, where benches and chairs were provided. Other persons were baptized and so they decided to build a shed to accommodate them. They had a passion for souls and with the help of God Dr. Bennett and the few members decided to engage in another evangelistic series. The Membership grew with Bro. Charles Barker and his wife, Sister Wallace, Sister Carnegie, Sister Mary Brown, Sister Marvietta Dacosta and Brother Grant and family.
Various evangelistic series were held by Pastor K.G Vaz and Dr. Bennett at Market Square and the membership multiplied. Eventually, a piece of land was leased at Market Square at ‘’Madda Gayle” a zinc structure built to house the church family. In 1950 this was formed into a company. Other families soon joined the group, the Burnetts, Nangles, Jones, Suckoos, Williamsons, Johnsons, Wallaces , Thompsons, Dawes and many others. Due to the growth of this company it was accepted by the Central Jamaica Conference and was given the title of a church in 1956. Thirty-Five persons formed the first membership of the Lionel Town Seventh-day Adventist Church.
It was the aim of the church to acquire a bigger structure, because we were not comfortable in the zinc structure, therefore we planned rallies, concerts and other fund-raising activities. These were all successful. In the year 1976 with God as our guide we were able to acquire this land we are now on and built this beautiful structure.
Brothers and sisters, boys and girls worked together night and day to complete this lovely edifice. Many of the families who played integral roles in the spiritual and physical growth of this church have migrated to foreign lands. Some are still faithful and true to the master and are giving active services in the churches that they are apart. Some have contributed to the building up of this church of which we are very grateful. There were many obstacles along the way but amidst all of these with determination we have worked together to see this day. “We have truly come this far by faith, leaning on the Lord.
The History of the Church was written and presented by Elder Jennifer Moodie.