Barbados 120 years ago a seed was planted

Covering an area of 431 square kilometres (166 sq mi) you can find an independent state in the West Indies, full of life, about 100 miles (160 kilometres) east of the Windward Islands. The most easterly of the Caribbean Islands, it is situated in the western area of the North Atlantic it is a country with no official religion, having Bridgetown, the only seaport as its capital.

Map of the Caribbean Sea and its islands.
Map of the Caribbean Sea and its islands. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Spanish and Portuguese briefly claimed Barbados from the late-16th to the 17th centuries.

South coast of Barbados, West Indies.
South coast of Barbados, West Indies. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The prevailing winds made the island difficult of access; if outward-bound ships from Europe did not gain the island while heading west, they found it difficult indeed to turn and reach its shores by sailing eastward. As a result of this circumstance, conquest of the island was impracticable. The first English ship, the Olive Blossom, arrived in Barbados in 1624. They took possession of it in the name of the British king James I. Two years later in 1627 the first permanent settlers arrived from England and it became an English and later British colony. The Rev. N. Greenidge become the father of one of the island’s most famous scholars, Abel Hendy Jones Greenidge and suggested the listing of Bimshire as a county of England.  Among the initial important figures of the  House of Assembly which began meeting in 1639 was Anglo-Dutchman Sir William Courten. Babados remained a British possession without interruption from the 17th century to November 30, 1966, when it attained independence and membership in the Commonwealth of Nations.

Close to 90 percent of all Barbadians (also known colloquially as Bajan) are of African descent (Afro-Bajans), mostly descendants of the slave labourers on the sugar plantations. The remainder of the population includes groups of Europeans (Euro-Bajans), Asians, Bajan Hindus and Muslims, and an influential Middle Eastern (Arab-Bajans) group mainly of Syrian and Lebanese descent.

Most Barbadians of African and European descent are Christians (95%), chiefly Anglicans (40%). Other Christian denominations with significant followings in Barbados are the Catholic Church, “Pentecostal” ((although this designation is often inaccurate for these Trinidadian Evangelicals) Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh-Day Adventist and Spiritual Baptists, the syncretic Afro-American religion which combines elements of traditional African religion with Christianity. The Spiritual Baptist (or Shouter Baptist) faith expanded to Barbados in 1957 as the Sons of God Apostolic Spiritual Baptists movement. It now ranks as one of two indigenous religions in the country (with the Jerusalem Apostolic Spiritual Baptist Church in Earling Grove and Zion at Richmond Gap, Beulah Temple – Bishops, St. Lucy).  “Shouter” is seen as a derogatory term by many modern day Baptists on the island, seeing as it was first originally imposed upon them by the mainstream, the British colonial government.  The other ranking originating in the country being the Rastafari religion (founded by Leonard Percival “Gong” Howell in 1932 ) of which the most worship Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia (ruled 1930–1974), as God incarnate, the Second Advent, or the reincarnation of Jesus. And the small group Orisha (0.1 percent).

The Church of England was the official state religion until its legal disenfranchisement by the Parliament of Barbados following independence. Religious minorities include HindusMuslims (Indians from Gujarat in India make up majority of the Muslim population), the Baha’i Faith, Jews and Wiccans.

According the Rastafari Zion , or the paradise, shall be created in Ethiopia. But the country got also to know about the real Zion and the hope for all people, black white and others.

English: Disciple of the Rastafari movement en...
English: Disciple of the Rastafari movement encountered on a bridge in Barbados. The Wharf St. & HWY 7, Bridgetown, Barbados. Former musician, Artist, Rastafarian. Believes in Ganja and accepts “Haile Selassie I” as God Incarnate (Jah). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

120 years ago on the Island of Barbados Bro. Blenman was pleased to announce that an ecclesia had been formed on the Island of Barbados, his native land. It all had started with Bro. James Hepburn, a Scot by birth, who had arrived in Barbados.  From that time the Truth has been preached to many and maintained by faithful brethren and sisters up to the present.

Though the standard of living of the enslaved African people who were being released from plantation slavery was very bad in the 1930s. They were poor, penniless and desolate after hundreds of years of British and Spanish slavery, hungry, suffering yaws, cholera and yellow fever. The crown of England did not care and doctors charged exorbitant fees which none could afford. Coupled with this was the genocidal part slavery and colonialism left with the people who saw themselves as unworthy and scum of the earth in 1932 Colonial Jamaica.

The brothers who preached the Love of God, did not find it easy to bring those people who held on to their African traditions and mixture of trinitarian beliefs to the Faith. While Leonard P. Howell called for International Salvation for all peoples globally and white Christian populace spurred on by the colonial planters and their acolytes, both clashed with the rebllious Rastafari Movement, the Brothers in Christ preached brotherly love between all folks. For the brethren there shall not be a Theocratical Order of the Nyahbinghi Reign, because the promise is laid in front of us of a theocratic reign under the son of men and son of God, Jesus Christ. the Christadelphians help the people to see the need to be separate from the world as did Joseph during his life of suffering and trial in Egypt.

Bro. and Sis. Prewer from Tobago could be the guests in 1973 for the inauguration of a new hall. Over 70 people attended this meeting of which about 45 were visitors. Plans are in place for a special 40th anniversary celebration of the hall opening next April, God willing. Today the meeting place is home to many ecclesial activities.

Sis. Murl travelled near and far throughout the island to collect children for Sunday School and teach them saving principles of the Truth in her forthright and bubbling way. As for all countries the abundance of slavery, getting freedom for ever, shall only succeed under the government of Jesus from Nazareth, Jeshua the son of God.

‘Bajans’ love their Bibles. Typically, every verse a Christadelphian begins quoting to a friend is finished by the friend.  Churches of many denominations around the island are filled on Wednesday and Sundays.  Often a grocery store clerk is sitting reading her Bible while awaiting the next customer.

Because of this interest in the Bible, leafleting and preaching in various centers including the Nelson Square in Bridgetown is a great pleasure. Many friends there were introduced to the correspondence course.  There are over 600 contacts in Barbados.  Most are happy with their Church but want to learn more about the Word.  Our continual prayer is that some will be moved by hearing the Word and seek out the Truth of scripture to the Glory of God in heaven.

Sister Murl Marshall

Please read the story about The Truth in Barbados


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