The man chosen to give spiritual and administrative leadership to the new Jamaica Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (JAMU) for the next five years is Pastor Everett Brown.
Delegates of the sixth and final Quinquennial Session of the West Indies Union Conference held on Nov. 29, 2010, unanimously voted that the former president of the Central Jamaica Conference be asked to give leadership to JAMU.
Pastor Everett Brown
The vote came in as the West Indies Union which comprised the territory of the church in Jamaica, The Bahamas, Cayman Islands and Turks and Caicos, officially split into Jamaica Union Conference which will oversee the church in Jamaica and the Atlantic Caribbean Union Mission which will oversee the church in The Bahamas, Cayman Islands and Turks and Caicos.
Pastor Brown who has served the Adventist Church over the past 26 years accepted the position with a true spirit of humility, thanking the Church for the confidence placed in him.
"I pledge by the grace of God, that I will not betray the trust that you have reposed in me to lead, as I follow the Master Teacher and Leader, Jesus Christ. I do not intend to establish any monument so that people will remember me; all I ask is for your support, as together we seek to carry the mandate of Jesus forward - to make disciples of men, and to prepare men and women for His Second Coming." Pastor Brown also asked that he be constantly lifted up before God in prayer, as the challenges will be great.
He further expressed his appreciation to the former President of the West Indies Union and the Jamaica Union, Pastor Derek Bignall for his contributions to the former WIU.
Outgoing President, Pastor Derek Bignall expressed gratitude to the delegates for giving him the opportunity to serve since January of 2009. He encouraged that even greater support be given to Pastor Brown in his Presidency, as this is a crucial time in the development of JAMU.
"We shall stand with him, because this work is not his; it is God's work. Let us feel no way. There is a song by the Heritage Singers that I didn't like, but I believe it. It says when God has another plan, he simply uses another man -congratulations (to Pastor Brown)" said Pastor Bignall in his usual jovial way, before embracing the incoming President.
Officers elected to serve with Pastor Brown are: Pastor Milton Gregory, who previously served as vice president, was elected as Secretary and Mr. Bancroft Barwise, who previously served as treasurer for the East Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, was elected Treasurer.
L-R: Pastor Milton Gregory - Secretary, Pastor Everett Brown - President, Elder Bancroft Barwise - Treasurer
Two Associate Directors and six departmental directors were also elected to serve, they are:
Associate Secretary: Ms. Doreen Grant
Associate Treasurer: Ms. Sharon Barrett
Children's and Women's Ministries: Ms. Loraine Vernal
Communication and Public Affairs and Religious Liberty: Nigel Coke
Family Ministries, Stewardship and Trust Services: Pastor Eric Nathan
Ministerial, Sabbath School and Personal Ministries: Pastor Glen Samuels
Health Ministries: Pastor Milton Gregory
Youth Ministries and Chaplaincy: Pastor Charles Blythe
Pastor Brown is in actuality the second president of the Jamaica Union.
President of the Inter- American Division of Seventh Day Adventists, Pastor Israel Leito, explained that when the West Indies Union was dissolved earlier that day, the Jamaica Union was officially inaugurated under the Presidency of Pastor Derek Bignall, former WIU President, until the new president was selected and voted. This was in keeping with Seventh-day Adventist policy that there never be a gap in the presence of leadership, not even for a short time.
Pastor Everett Brown hails from the quaint district of Ramble in the parish of Manchester. He is a past student of the May Pen High School and a graduate of the Northern Caribbean University where he completed his bachelors of arts degree in religion and theology, and a masters of business administration degree (MBA). He also completed the course for the masters of arts in Religion from Andrews University.
Pastor Brown has served as district pastor and evangelist for the Browns Town; Port more, Waltham and the St. Johns District of Churches 1984-1994, Youth director 1989-1995, executive secretary 1995-2000 and president of the Central Jamaica Conference from 2000 to the present.
Pastor Brown has led the Central Jamaica Conference in its transition after it was reorganized in 2002 and has witness the tremendous growth that has taken place in all areas of the conference especially in the number of persons baptized, the increase in tithes and offerings, the development of the infrastructures of Camp Verley and the Willowdene Group of Schools.
The Session ended on Tuesday, November 30 with the unveiling of the new Jamaica Union Conference sign