EJC Elects New Leaders to Serve for the Next Quadrennium

On the final day of the 5th Quadrennial Session of East Jamaica Conference (EJC), the nomination committee reaffirmed the leadership of Pastor Eric Nathan and his two administrators,   giving them the mandate to continue for another four years.

The following is the list of officers elected to serve for the period 2018 – 2022.

President - Pastor Eric Nathan
Secretary - Pastor Linton Williams
Treasurer - Elder Donmayne Gyles
Ministerial Secretary - Pastor Leabert Williams

Youth Ministries Director - Pastor Ray Davis
Health Ministries, Wills & Trust, Stewardship Director -  Pastor Leonard Steele
Sabbath School/ Personal Ministries Director - Pastor Carl Cunningham
Family, Women, Children & Adolescents Ministries Director - Elder Claudette Genas

Communication, Public Affairs & Religious Liberty Director  - Elder Phillip Castell

The positions of Education Director and Publishing Ministries Director will be voted by the Executive Committee of the Conference at a later date.


CJC elects officers and directors for 2018 – 2022

Pastors Nevail Barrett and Billy Watson have been selected as secretary and treasurer of the Central Jamaica Conference respectively, to serve for the next quadrennium.

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Newly elected directors and officers of the Central Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. [Right to Left] - Levi Johnson, president, Barrington McLean, Sabbath School and Personal Ministries, Thomas Bryan, Stewardship, Claudia Bailey, Women and Children Ministries, Roy Dennis, Family Ministries, Damian Chambers, Communication and Health Ministries, Daniel Pink, Ministerial Secretary, Kevan Barnaby, Youth Ministries. | Credits: Justin Miller

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Barrett and Watson join newly re-elected president Levi Johnson to form the conference administration.

Delegates at the session also selected directors for the various ministries. The assignments are as follows:

  1. Ministerial Secretary - Pastor Daniel Pink
  2. Personal Ministries and Sabbath School - Pastor Barrington Mclean
  3. Family Life - Dr. Pastor Roy Dennis
  4. Communication and Health - Pastor Damian Chambers
  5. Youth - Pastor Kevan Barnaby
  6. Stewardship - Pastor Thomas Bryan
  7. Children and Women - Sis. Claudia Bailey

The appointment of directors for Education, Publishing Ministries, Public Affairs and Religious Liberty will be made by the executive committee of the conference.


Ricardo McCalla: From dancehall act to promising preacher

Ricardo McCalla was on the cusp of 'getting a buss', the Jamaican slang for breaking into the music industry as an entertainer. Many young Jamaicans, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, see this as a route out of poverty and into wealth and fame. But underneath the glitter there is often a life of drugs, violence and lewd living.

At 20 years of age McCalla, then known by his street name 'Bling', was the rising dancehall star of Skibo, a deep rural community in Portland, Jamaica.

“Our community is a very poor community, people hardly go out to work. They can barely read, they can barely provide for their families,” says McCalla.

Skibo was thought unlikely to produce anyone noteworthy, so the community was proud of their budding entertainer though he was poor and barely literate himself.

In 2002 he was poised to make a big career move — he was going to start recording his first album. The recording was scheduled for a Monday, and the Saturday night before that he threw himself into his performance at a stage show.

Aside from dancehall, there was another persistent influence in McCalla's life. His mother, an Adventist, warned him about what she saw as a wild lifestyle and encouraged him to attend church. He did attend occasionally, but had no intention of being baptised. Still, his mother's influence did help him feel a need for Christ.

He left the stage show that Saturday night drunk. He collapsed into bed but woke up Sunday morning under the bed with no idea how he got there. Badly hung over and vomiting, he overheard his mother praying.

“God, you gave me this boy but I cannot manage him. Take him Jesus,” she prayed.


In Jamaica, Adventists Rally to Support Grief Stricken Community

Seventh-day Adventists in the western part of Jamaica organized a community impact program in light of the recent spate of violence in Grange Hill and the surrounding communities, which left seven persons dead, including two children, and another ten persons wounded, earlier this month.

Several Adventist churches rallied together on May 5 to meet, pray and offer counsel to individuals in the community, instead of taking part in the regular Sabbath morning worship services.

The marching band from Westmoreland and a group of pathfinders led the march from the Sterling community in Grange Hill. They were a part of a community impact program organized by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, on Saturday, May 5, 2018. Photo by Michael Fletcher

Members also took the afternoon to march in the streets and rally at the Marcus White Transport Center, at Morgan’s Bridge, in Grange Hill, accompanied by marching bands from the West Jamaica Conference and the Sandy Bay Adventist Church.

Family Must be a Priority

“We have lost our way, we have lost the ‘book of rules’. Parents are no longer in charge of their children, parents are no longer in-charge of the home,” charged keynote speaker, Pastor Charles T. Brevitt, stewardship and trust services director for the church in West Jamaica, as he quoted the words of the Heptones 1976 single.


Good Samaritan Inn Receives Dental Xray Machine

The Seventh-day Adventist run Good Samaritan Inn (GSI) Dental Clinic was the recipient of a state of the art dental x-ray machine which was acquired through the partnership of the CHASE Fund and the kind assistance of sponsors and participants in the Good Samaritan 5K Health Run/Walk.

The machine was handed over by the Good Samaritan 5K /Run Walk Committee at an official handover ceremony on May 16, 2018 which was attended by leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church (SDA)  in East Jamaica Conference (EJC), Dr. Christopher Tufton, Minister of Health, Senator, Dr. Floyd Morris, Patron of the GSI 5K Health Walk/Run  Event, Mrs. Paulette Mitchell, Project Manager of the Chase Fund, Mark Golding  and Rev. Ronald Thwaites, Members of Parliament for constituencies served by the Inn.

Dr. Eric Nathan, President of the SDA Church in EJC and Chairman of the Good Samaritan Inn Board accepted the XZeal Z70-AC x-ray machine on behalf of the church and GSI and thanked the Chase Fund for partnering with the church to provide the machine which would enhance ministry to the people served by the GSI.

“I want to say thanks to the management of the Chase Fund in partnership with the Andrews 5K Health Run/Walk Committee for

helping us here at the Good Samaritan Inn offer better ministry to the community who are the real recipients of all we do here,” said Nathan.

In his address, Health Minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton commended the work being done by the Good Samaritan Inn and the Seventh-day Adventist Church  and called both  of them “model institutions.”

“I admire the work of the Good Samaritan Inn based on its goals and objectives and the work it has been doing over time,” Tufton said. “I also have special admiration for the Seventh-day Adventist Church for its focus on the holistic being,” he added.

According to the Minister partnerships play a critical role in the public sector for organizations to meet certain objectives.  He applauded the partnership that was forged between the Andrews Church and the Chase Fund to help the GSI Health Clinic acquire an  X-ray machine.


In Jamaica, Adventist University Wins International Business Model Competition

Northern Caribbean University (NCU) became the winner of the 2018 International Business Model Competition (IBMC) during this year’s event held in Provo, Utah, United States, May 10-11, 2018.

The win is no small feat for NCU Team Beasc Tech in that the IBMC had 5,000 competitors from 500 Universities from 30 countries worldwide. The team was awarded the “Traveling” trophy along with a cash prize of US$30,000.

NCU Business Model teams have dominated the local competition since its inception having won four times consecutively. This year, the NCU teams finished third and fourth locally, but came up winners at the IBMC level, which evaded them in the previous years when they won the local competition.

“We are pleased to know that our students went to Utah and won the prestigious International Business Model Competition,” said Dr. Lincoln Edwards, president of NCU. “It is impressive that the top two spots were won by Jamaican teams, with second place going to the team from the University of the West Indies.”

Jamaicans can feel a sense of pride in the recent achievement, added Edwards. “This victory underscores the fact that our students are bright, creative, and innovative, with the ability to compete with students anywhere.”


Medical Cadet Corps To Be Revitalized Across the Adventist Church

A historic meeting for the revitalization of the Medical Cadet Corps (MCC) program took place during a special training session held in Levittown, Puerto Rico, from April 30 to May 3, 2018. The meeting provided special training for MCC officers who are currently involved in the program across the North American and Inter-American divisions, as well as initiate other leaders who are interested in reviving the MCC in their regions.

“The MCC program originally helped Adventist servicemen serve according to their conscience,” said Dr. Mario Ceballos, director, World Service Organization–General Conference (WSO-GC). MCC cadets are trained and equipped to provide spiritual comfort, and other services such as first aid during emergency situations, explained Ceballos.

“In today’s world, many countries no longer have a draft, and although we never know when world events could lead to a reinstatement of conscription, it is best to prepare our young adults,” said Ceballos. MCC training also equips cadets, ages 17 and older, to serve in their local communities in times of disaster. “Their assistance during these types of events fosters goodwill with local residents and provides help in time of need.”

History of MCC

The Medical Cadet Corps was originally launched on Jan. 8, 1934 on the Union College campus in Lincoln, Nebraska, under the leadership of Everett Dick, a professor at union and a World War I veteran. The training was the same as that of medics in the U.S. Army, and included close-order drill, Army organizational structure, physical training, military courtesy, camp hygiene, litter drill, and first aid.


Poultry Medicine Done Right With Gyles

On the quest to make agriculture 'sexy', the Nutramix team, in collaboration with Flair,has reached out to hear the stories of women who are in unique and empowering positions within the field. This week, we introduce Dr Sydonnie Thompson-Gyles, who is possibly the most enthusiastic and cheerful poultry veterinarian on the island.

"I'd like to think I became a vet because it was my calling, this is something I always wanted to do," said Gyles with rosy cheeks and a twinkle in her eyes as she spoke about her passion to work with animals. Gyles, who is an alumnus of the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE), paid homage to the skill set she obtained from the institution and admits her love for agriculture was fortified with their help. She completed her associate of science degree at CASE and then ventured into veterinary medicine a year later. She applied for the Russian scholarship at Kazan State University for veterinary medicine, where she studied for six years. While attending the university, she noted there was an extreme culture shock. Persons considered her as exotic due to the lack of people of African descent. "It was really strange, different culture and very cold," said Gyles.


Being the only poultry veterinarian in Jamaica, Gyles has a lot on her plate but does it efficiently with zeal. As a poultry veterinarian, she visits all the poultry farms across the island. "I visit the hatchery and the processing plant. I pretty much follow the birds from beginning to the end. At the hatchery, I pull blood from them, which gives me a lot of information about their health status and the status of their parents. This helps me to adjust my vaccination programme and to see if they need to be vaccinated against particular disease. From time to time I will swab their organs just to check if our environment is conducive to their development," explained Gyles, as she told Flairabout her routine.