The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Cumberland, Clarendon was dedicated on Sunday June 9, 2019 by the Administration of the Central Jamaica Conference.
The Cumberland SDA church is part of the Royal Flat district of churches which includes Grey Ground, Banana Ground, Bellefield and Royal Flat. Representatives from each of these churches along with members from the community turned out in their numbers to celebrate with Cumberland.
Sean Hamilton, district pastor welcomed everyone and expressed appreciation for their hard-work and commitment.
“We come rejoicing today because God has been good. What you are witnessing today is not just my dream come true, but the effort and commitment of each one of you, thank you for the role you played," said Hamilton.
According to Hamilton, “the work of evangelism is a continuous one and so though we have reached a milestone this is not where we will stop, instead with hearts united and wrapped up in God we will share the love of Jesus throughout every part of Cumberland."
The service continued with Dr. Clifton Knight, Education Director, CJC, and former pastor of the Cumberland Church, who brought greetings on behalf of the Central Jamaica conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
“Congratulations church! What you have achieved today is as a result of good leadership over the years and the commitment of members who had a mind to work,” said Knight.
He also cautioned, “Be a lighthouse always on the hill that cannot be hid, so passersby will see the light and your lives will be as a magnet pulling others to worship God.”
Pastor Wenford Henry, Community Services and Stewardship Director, Jamaica Union Conference shared the dedicatory sermon.
Pastor Henry commended the church for their milestone achievement and called them to focus on four factors that make a church relevant in a community..
“The church is a beacon of light to point men and women to the Savior Jesus Christ, a house of prayer for all peoples, a place of refuge to meet the needs of the poor, oppressed, widowed, orphaned and/or sin sick soul, and a compass for the future, motivating men and women to achieve their full potential,” said Henry.
Pastor Nevail Barrett executive Secretary, CJC carried out the act of dedication and shared with the congregation his conviction that the church is an agent of change in a community.
“I am convinced that a church in any community is a powerful tool for change," he continued. “It is a beacon of light where children will find hope, young ladies, good husbands, young men, good wives, but most importantly sinners the savior Jesus Christ,” he said.
“Never lose sight of the fact that this is the Lords house. The Lord’s church is appointed for the salvation of men,” Barrett concluded.
Pastor Billy Watson,Treasurer CJC, offered the prayer of dedication to conclude the service of dedication.
History of the Cumberland Seventh-day Adventist Church-From Paul Powell to Dedication
The early history of the Cumberland Seventh-day Adventist church is largely unwritten. Most of what we know has been passed down to us orally. Many interviews were conducted resulting in the data that we presently have. The Seventh-day Adventist message was brought to Cumberland in the year 1932 by a brother named Paul Powell. Paul Powell, it is reported, migrated to Cuba where he worked for some time. He then returned to Cumberland with the “Adventist Message.” A company was established on a plot of land belonging to Mr. James Forbes. The brethren at the time worshiped on Thomas Hill.
In 1951, the structure on Thomas Hill was destroyed by a storm. A temporary structure was erected at Brother Doods’ place, but the exact date is not known. Worship took place at this spot for a period of time and then the church was moved to its present location.
Some of the persons named as Pioneers of the church include: Paul Powell, Milton Forbes, Israel Brown and Enoch Brown, Gilmore Brown, Eunice Brown, Aubrey Brown, and Obediah Anderson. These men and their families spread the gospel message in Cumberland, Five Miles, Virginia, and Shop Hill. They faithfully carried out the command in Matthew 28:19-20, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you, and lo I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
The work of evangelism is a continuous one, and so the baton was passed on to faithful men, their families and willing members of the congregation. The following persons continued the work of spreading the Seventh-day Adventist message throughout Cumberland and its environs: Wilfred Brown, Brother Harrison, Lenard Tomlin, Leslie Tomlin ,Levi Johnson and Samuel E. Owen. From Brother Paul Powell and Pastor Nation in the 1930’s to Pastor Sean Hamilton and Samuel E. Owen in 2019, the road to dedication has been paved with diligence, perseverance and hard work.
We who are left behind have a firm grip on the baton. Each of us must decide in our heart to hold on to the baton until we come in contact with the persons who will run the next leg of the race. Let it be understood that Jesus will collect the baton at the end of the race. He will give each faithful runner his or her reward at the end of the race. Run your leg of the race and run it well.
May God be with us as we continue to write the History of the Cumberland Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Church History written by: Samuel E. Owen.