The event’s speaker, Dr. Scott Thumma of Hartford International University, lectured on the 173rd General Assembly celebration of Jamaica Baptist Union. His presentation focused on the idea that spiritual needs have stayed consistent and essential across cultures and societies.
‘Changing World-Changing Church’ Lecture of Dr. Scott Thumma
The Jamaica Baptist Union celebrated its 173rd general assembly from February 22 to 26, which was held inside the Boulevard Baptist Church on Washington Boulevard in St. Andrew. The Gleaner reported that Dr. Scott Thumma, a professor of sociology of religion at Hartford International University, delivered the assembly address on the first day of the conference with the title, ‘Changing World – Changing Church.’
The presentation centered on the central idea that despite the vast differences in the societies and societal structures, in some ways, people’s spiritual needs have remained consistent and are still of equal importance. Although these spiritual requirements and the God that people serve do not change, the church itself must continue to adapt to new circumstances and advance along with society if it is to be successful in winning new converts to Christianity. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, he was influenced by his latest research on churches in the United States.
As per the article from Edgewater Baptist Church, the 173rd national assembly of the Jamaica Baptist Union resumed regular face-to-face functions this year. Pastors, delegates, and other participants would participate in the special event as in previous years. As mentioned, ‘Keeping Faith with the Word in an Ever-Changing World – Embracing the Mystery’ would be the subject of the 2023 assembly. It would also feature worship connections that include uplifting music as well as engaging sermons.
Moreover, the opening address and the sermon that will be given on Sunday morning will be both given at the National Arena by President Rev. Dr. Glenroy Lalor, who serves as the minister of the Bethel Baptist Church in Half Way Tree. Other speakers include Rev. Jean Rony Batille, pastor of the New Calvary Church in Haiti (also known as the Nouvelle Eglise Du Calvaire), Rev. Angella Morga, Allen, Rev. Doreen Wynter of the JonesTown Circuit in Kingston, who will deliver the closing address and Rev. Racquel Buckley, minister of the Zion Hill Baptist Church in St. Mary.
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Jamaica Baptist Union Beginnings
According to Jamaica Baptist Union, George Liele, a so-called “free black slave” from Atlanta, Georgia, arrived in Jamaica in 1783 and began preaching in Kingston. The success of his work led to it being replicated in other locations across the archipelago. The Baptist Missionary Society in the United Kingdom was asked to provide financial assistance for the project, and in 1814, they dispatched the very first missionary to the island. The British administration fostered the ministry’s sustained development and expansion.
As mentioned, the Baptists’ fight to end enslavement was one in which they played a significant role and involvement. Following the abolition of slavery, they played an essential role in establishing “free villages” for newly liberated people. Large tracts of land were purchased and then subdivided into smaller holdings before being marketed to individual households. In addition, each community contained a school and a Baptist church.
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