145 attend Unleavened Bread in Jamaica; four baptized

By Ian Boyne

KINGSTON, Jamaica--Attendance records keep shattering in the Jamaican Church of God International with the latest being set on the first Day of Unleavened Bread, the Sabbath of April 11, when 145 people turned up for services. The previous record was 141 four weeks earlier.

Also, a record 103 persons participated in Passover services. Attendance for the last day of Unleavened Bread was also a record 120 for a weekday holy day.

But the highlight of the Passover season was the baptism of four members and the official acceptance into membership of two former members of the Worldwide Church of God. Between Passover last year and this season some 37 members have been added, 13 since February.

The hot topic around the Jamaican CGI these days is the spectacular growth of the church. Every week new visitors are being added, many of whom have more than a casual interest. The holy-day offerings were also encouraging. On the first day some $35,800 was given, then on the last day $24,500 was given by brethren in this cash-starved third-world society, surely an indication of the depth of the brethren's commitment to God's work.

New monthly Bible study

Another piece of exciting news is that, as a result of substantial interest by former and current members of the WCG in an outlying area where the Feast of Tabernacles is kept, a new monthly Bible study was to commence as of the first week in May. So the CGI will officially have two groups meeting in Jamaica while we are outgrowing our Kingston facilities.

One of those who has recently come over to the CGI has been associated with the Church of God since the 1960s. He was the third member to be baptized in the Worldwide Church of God in Jamaica. He remembers the first baptizing tour of the Caribbean conducted by Dibar Apartian and Ron Kelly.

Two Jamaicans were baptized on that trip in the mid-'60s. He was the third baptized by Clarence Bass, former Caribbean regional director.

(Mr. Bass in recent years has gone by the name Stan Bass. He lives in retirement in Big Sandy, Texas.)

The new member will be officially received into the CGI after his relatives abroad have been informed.

Newspaper article on Passover

Also, the church continues to garner publicity from newspapers and television stations here. Recently one CGI board member was featured on the cover of the Sunday magazine of the largest-circulating paper in the country. The article was written by one of our newer members who is the Sunday-magazine editor.

As a result of the article, he also got the chance to be interviewed on a morning television program and explain the doctrinal perspective of the CGI. An article on our Passover observance appeared on the religion page of that same leading newspaper on a recent weekend.

Sermons given during the holy days were titled "Commitment" and "Who Is a Disciple?," focusing on the necessity of overcoming sin (Ian Boyne); "How to Grow Spiritually" (George Ramocan); "Looking at the Spiritual Temple" (deacon Paul O'Connor) and "The implications of Unleavened Bread" (Glen Smith).

On the next Sabbath the sermon was to be abolished and there was to be a workshop on spiritual growth, distilling the points covered in the sermons and having the members themselves give suggestions on how to overcome sin. Sermons were to emphasize the importance of not only having a correct doctrinal perspective but living holy lives: the true meaning of Unleavened Bread.

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