CGI pastor reports on new congregation in Jamaica

KINGSTON, Jamaica--Ian Boyne, the Church of God International's pastor in Jamaica, reports that the new Ocho Rios congregation is already 10 times the size it was last year.

"Our first meeting in Ocho Rios last year involved three people," said Ian Boyne, pastor of the Texas-based CGI. "Now there are regularly scheduled Sabbath services in Ocho Rios with over 30 persons."

Thirty-one people attended the Sabbath of Jan. 16 for services near the beach at the Carib Ocho Rios Hotel.

"I spoke on the importance of our calling, emphasizing that we are not just another church and reminding of Mr. Herbert Armstrong's oft-repeated statement that we were not just called for personal salvation but were to be involved in a work."

The date coincided with the 13th anniversary of the death of Mr. Armstrong, founder of the Worldwide Church of God, which has split into many new groups, most bearing the name Church of God. The CGI began in 1979.

"I spoke about some of our distinctives in a split sermon," said Mr. Boyne, "using the other half to speak about the futility of pursuing materialistic endeavors."

Meanwhile, 126 of the brethren turned up for services in Kingston, where George Ramocan gave a sermon on hope and Glenford Smith delivered an extended sermonette on contentment.

"In all [that] Sabbath a whopping 157 persons were at CGI services in Jamaica," said Mr. Boyne.

Many Ocho Rios attenders are former members of the Worldwide Church of God, "but one family has been attending as a result of the campaign of the church held last Feast [of Tabernacles]," he said. "The prospects for growth are great in the area, and the brethren are most enthusiastic and are on fire for evangelism."

A church member who happens to be an architect has produced booklets on his computer using the church's literature as a source. These he distributes on the island along with his name and phone number.

"We are so happy that we can have services once again in our community," commented a woman who was a long-time WCG member. "I thank God so much."

Several people are preparing for a pre-Passover baptism as the CGI Jamaica continues on its path of rapid growth, said Mr. Boyne. He quoted an unnamed CGI-board member on the zeal of the Jamaican brethren:

"If any researcher in the world believes that the Church of God movement is dead or not viable, he should take a trip to Jamaica to experience the dynamism, growth and zeal which was common in the church in the 1960s. If the right elements are present, the Church of God can yet rock this world."

For more information about the Church of God International, write P.O. Box 2525, Tyler, Texas 75710, U.S.A.; call (903) 825-2525.

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