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    From The EST's Desk

    Executive Secretary/Treasurer- Rev. Everton Jackson

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    Dear Sisters and Brothers:


    I am pleased to bring you brief updates on the activities of the Caribbean Baptist Fellowship since the last publication of our Newsletter NOTES in September 2016.

    CBF EXECUTIVE MEETING AND BAPTIST GATHERING

     

    Representatives from thirteen Caribbean territories met in Barbados for the CBF executive meeting and Baptist Gathering from October 26-29, 2016. The territories represented were: Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Haiti, the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, St. Kitts, Grenada, Guyana, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica and Guadeloupe. Manuals developed by the Jamaica Baptist Union on Disaster Preparedness and Response, Ministering to Persons living with Disabilities and the Care of the Environment were shared with participants. Reports were received from the committees and departments of the CBF. Among the decisions taken were: to expedite the implementation of the theological training programme already crafted for church leaders; expand the production of Sunday School literature by Caribbean Christian Publications for French/Creole and Spanish-speaking territories and a drive to resuscitate dormant member bodies and recruit new members for both CBF and BWA. Men, women, and youth were mobilized for special meetings on October 25 before the start of the executive meeting.

    A special feature of the Baptist Gathering held on the night of October 27 was the honouring of Rev. Vincent Wood for his sterling contribution to the Caribbean Baptist Fellowship, Caribbean Christian Publications and Baptist World Alliance. The Rev. Mr. Wood was hailed as an erudite Caribbean Baptist leader, having served as President of CBF, chairman of the Board of Trustees for CCP and member of many committees at both the level of CBF and BWA.

     

    The Caribbean Baptist Fellowship will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2020. A committee has been put in place to make plans for this historic moment. Chairman is Rev. Karl B. Johnson, General Secretary of the Jamaica Baptist Union.

    SPECIAL VISITS MADE BY THE EST

    Visit to Haiti, October 7-10, 2016

     

    On a visit made to Haiti to assess damage associated with the passage of Hurricane Matthew, the EST capitalized on that opportunity, to meet with the leadership of the Missionary Evangelical Baptist of South Haiti. Apart from expressing the solidarity of the regional and global family of Baptists with the people of Haiti, the EST discussed with the leaders,  a tripartite relationship consisting of the JBU, CBF and MEBSH in the training of Sam Reginald Dorelien, a ministerial student at the United Theological College of the West Indies. There was great appreciation for the partnership and the hope that the partners involved would consider facilitating post graduate studies for Sam Reginald Dorelien who will complete his studies this year. The Baptist leaders expressed the view that they would like for him upon his return to Haiti to play a critical role in developing and teaching in a training programme for church leaders. 

    VISIT TO SAN ANDRES  BAPTIST ASSOCIATION ASSEMBLY

    The EST visited and participated as guest speaker in the San Andres Island General Assembly held from January 18-21, 2017 under the theme: “Hand in Hand with Jesus – Belonging, Becoming and Blessings.” Greetings were expressed to the executive body and delegates of the Association on behalf of the CBF and BWA.  

    It must be noted that this association is not a member of the CBF or BWA. However, at the assembly, the delegates voted to become a member of CBF in the first instance.

     HURRICANES AND DISASTER RESPONSE

     

    The month of October, 2016 was a very active period in  the Caribbean hurricane season. Hurricanes Matthew and Nicole left a trail of damage in the territories traversed.

     Hurricane Matthew, for example, claimed one life in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, four in the Dominican Republic and over one thousand in Haiti. The nature of the devastation varied from territory to territory. However, all the countries impacted by Matthew, for example, Cuba, Haiti and the Bahamas, among others, and Bermuda by Nicole, experienced infrastural damage, loss and damage to roofs, loss of agricultural produce and animals.

    A visit was made by the EST to Haiti at the instance of the Baptist World Alliance, to conduct an assessment of the damage done and to recommend the channel through which relief was to be sent. Based on the assessment done, it was ascertained that 200 of 300 Baptist churches affiliated to the Missionary Evangelical Baptist Church of South Haiti were damaged. In addition, 150 schools were damage by the hurricane.  Various equipment, school and church furniture were damaged as were houses and public facilities.

    In view of the fact that the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew was confined mainly to the southwestern part of Haiti and the MEBSH has relief machinery in place, it was recommended that relief efforts be channelled through them. The CBF is grateful to BWAid for the assistance provided for Haiti to date. 

     

     UPCOMING CONFERENCES

    1. 1.      Youth Festival  

    The eleventh Caribbean Baptist Fellowship Youth Festival will be held in San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago from July 19-23, 2017 guided by the theme: “I Stand for….Jesus.” More than 400 Baptist young people from the Caribbean and the Diaspora are expected to attend.

    1. Women’s Conference

    The women’s conference of the Caribbean Women’s Union will be held from July 19-24, 2017  in Antigua under the theme: “Arise, Shine through Unity.” Over 200 women from the across the Caribbean and Diaspora are expected to  attend.

    1. CBF – Mid – Term Assembly

    The mid- term assembly of the CBF will be held in Nassau, Bahamas from October 25-29, 2017. Plans are underway to mobilize member bodies to make this a priority on their agenda  for 2017.

    CONCLUDING REMARKS

    It is encouraging to see the renewed interest being shown in the Caribbean Baptist Fellowship by member bodies. Every effort is now being made to urge member bodies of BWA to fulfil their financial and other obligations to the global family. Conventions/Unions/Associations which are not members of BWA are being encouraged to consider membership.

    In concluding, I am grateful for the support received from our President, the Rev. Dr. William Thompson and my Administrator.  To God be the Glory!

     

    Everton Jackson (Rev.)