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White Shop SDA Dedicates Completed Church Building

Published: 26-08-2022 |

After decades of needing a suitable structure for worship, members of the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church in White Shop, Clarendon, joyfully dedicated the completed church building to God on Sunday, August 21, 2022.

The dedication service was conducted by leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist church from the Jamaica Union (JAMU) and Central Jamaica Conference (CJC) along with the local leadership.

Representing the JAMU, Dr. Earl Cameron cut the ribbons. While delivering the homily Cameron encouraged the members to reflect on God’s goodness and renew their vows to Him.

“You have erected a monument in honour of the saving grace of Jesus and heaven applauds you. It is a lighthouse in this community to show men and women to Jesus Christ, it is a teaching tool for generations, and a testimony to the watching world,” he said.

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Dr Earl Cameron, Jamaica Union Conference Representative, delivering the homily during the dedicatory services of the White Shop SDA Church | Credits: Kimarley Walker Medley (Director, Communication)

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CJC Executive Secretary Pastor Howard Grant-Langley opened the main doors and declared the sanctuary ready for service. Grant-Langley also did the act of dedication and said the dedicatory prayer. Treasurer at the CJC, Bro Roxwel Lawrence, unveiled the baptistery.

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Bro Roxwel Lawrence (Treasurer) unveils the baptistry of the White Shop SDA Church | Credits: Kimarley Walker Medley (Director, Communication)

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(L-R) Bro Roxwel Lawrence (Treasurer, CJC), Pastor Howard Grant-Langley (Executive Secretary, CJC) and Dr Earl Cameron (JAMU) cut the ribbon opening the sanctuary at the White Shop SDA Church. | Credits: Kimarley Walker Medley (Director, Communication)

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CJC Vice-president Pastor Billy Watson noted that he was impressed by the aesthetics of the church.

White Shop SDA, the only Adventist ‘shop’ one can find open on a Sabbath, has been in existence for 74 years. The first edifice was completed in 1948 but over the years the congregation struggled to stay viable as members sometimes migrated to neighbouring Spalding SDA and natural disasters damaged the building rendering it unfit for use.

In 2007 Pastor Lovell Spence initiated the reconstruction of the building. Other pastors continued the work: Donald Francis saw the first set of windows installed and Wilton McKoy (deceased) supervised the first phase of tiling.

In 2017, Kevin Murray became pastor and under his watch two bathrooms, a pastor’s vestry, deaconate room, baptistery, kitchen, children’s section and the front porch were completed. Additionally, the ceiling was installed and the main church hall renovated.

Murray was overjoyed to see the completion of many years of work.

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Pastor Kevin Murray, outgoing District Pastor beams with joy during the dedication of the White Shop SDA Church | Credits: Kimarley Walker Medley (Director, Communication)

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“This vision was accompanied by prayerful strategic planning, efficient team effort, sacrificial giving, collaborative partnership, Christ like commitment and stick-to-itiveness of the members and donors both locally and internationally,” he said.

The church is now 73 members strong and is pastored by Harrone Guthrie.

“I am particularly proud to be sharing in this moment with the brethren who managed to complete the journey debt free,” Guthrie said.

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Pastor Harrone Guthrie, Pastor of the Spalding District of SDA Churches which includes White Shop SDA, addresses the congregants. | Credits: Kimarley Walker Medley (Director, Communication)

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White Shop SDA treasurer, Selena Morgan, and Family Ministries Director, Christal Williams received commendations from Pastor Murray for going above and beyond for the cause.

Morgan says she has been waiting patiently since 2021 for dedication day to come.

“The dedication and commitment of the members are just a display of what can happen when God is at the center of our plans,” she said.

Williams has been a member for 11 years and expressed her pleasure at this achievement.

“Just seeing how all of our members work together to decorate the church and have a building fit for more members to be comfortable is very pleasing. I am happy the Lord was able to use me to be a part of this grand function,” she said.

As they celebrate the journey, White Shop SDA members pledge to embrace the future with faith, hope, joy, resilience, and courage saying “we need not fear the future unless we forget the way our Lord has led us and His teaching in our past history.”

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