HISTORY OF THE CARENAGE SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH
It was in 1931 that we, the Williams family, my deceased mother Mary Williams, my elder brother Charles, my sister Mary, and I Joseph Williams were baptized by Dr. Millard in the San Juan River, and became members of the SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH located at 31 Dondonald Street, Port of Spain. We continued to worship there for a few months. After awhile certain members of the church (Bro. C.D. Adamson accompanied by Sis. M. White and others) decided to establish a branch Sabbath School for us in Carenage. This branch Sabbath School was established in my mother's house of Upper Haig Street, Carenage. The said spot where my sister Mary Williams still resides.
We were joined by Sis. Jane Smith and her four children, Harry, Beulah, Vera and Phyllis bringing our membership to a total of nine. This family was residing in a little village in Chaguaramas, (one and a half miles west of the village of Carenage). Presently, Sis. Jane Smith is a member of the Cedros Seventh-Day Adventist Church. Bro. Harry was then a little boy of about seven years old is now a Deacon of the church here at Carenage. Sis. Beulah and her sister Vera died in the faith, rejoicing in the blessed hope of the soon coming of Jesus. Phyllis Smith is a teacher at one of our schools in Tobago.
This Sabbath School, which was conducted by Bro. C.D. Adamson and Sis. White was removed a few months later to lower Haig Street, Carenage, which was in Bro. Ford's premises. It was held in a little bamboo tent about twelve by thirty feet and covered with coconut branches. Bro. C.D. Adamson was very active in proclaiming the Third Angel's Message in the village of Carenage and surrounding district. As a result of his labor many precious souls were brought to the knowledge of God's Saving Grace among whom was Bro. Pierre, Bro. Murphy and many others. Shortly after Bro. Adamson died, Bro. Flat, Bro. E. Ogise and Bro. Benjamin Phillip continued to hold the fort. Presently, Bro. Phillip is a member of the Diego Martin Seventh-Day Adventist Church on Chow Quan Avenue.
In 1932 our company moved to the corner of Beard and Francois Streets, Carenage, on Bro. Pierre's premises. The Conference, under the Presidency of Pastor Gordon Hurst, gave us some building material and we built a twenty by thirty feet tapia building. Approximately three years later our little company had grown so much that the President decided to make it an established church.
Shortly after this, Bro. Pierre, Bro. Murphy, Bro. and Sis. Noel and their children Augustine, Floris, Mc Leed and Mc Fedran became members of our church. Augustine now holds a doctorate in Theology and is one of our outstanding workers in this great Advent movement, Dr. A.B. Noel.
The era of the 1940's was a successful one for this new church. With a membership of about forty we now had an ordained Minister, Pastor S.L. Gasby. The church moved from Bro. Pierre's premises to a lodge at MT. Pleasant. Soon a building was erected on Benedictine Street Extension, Carenage under the leadership of Pastor S.L. Gasby and dedicated Pastor Archibald. The land for this building was graciously donated by Jura Singh, the maternal grand-father of Joseph Gilbert whose daughter two sons are graduates of Loma Linda University. Roger and David are now very successful dentists in and around Loma Linda. Since then, the church building was extended to accommodate the membership growth.
In December 1983, two laymen Bro. Keith Phillip and Bro. Irwin Huggins held a crusade at Crown Trace, Carenage. At the end of the crusade the already large membership was now too much for the little building and a huge tent was erected to accommodate the people. Presently the church building on Benedictine Street, Carenage is demolished in readiness for a new church building, and a company that started from a family of four, now has a membership of three hundred and fifteen (315) and is still growing.
On Friday September 5, 1941 the Carenage Seventh-day Adventist Church was accepted into the Sisterhood of Churches, by the South Caribbean Conference of Seventh-day Adventist.
During the early years of my membership in this church, I served as the Treasurer and the local Elder for many years. I am still holding the fort as an Ordained Elder, doing what I can to help others and to finish the work of the Gospel as we look forward to the coming of the Lord.
May the Lord richly bless us as we co-operate together in the finishing of His work.
Your Brother in Christ, Joseph Williams
Written in the month of January, 1989
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