It was festive atmosphere as the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Mt. Salem celebrated their fiftieth anniversary under the theme, “Hosanna! Hitherto hath the Lord led us!”
Pastor Balvin Braham, Assistant to the President, Inter-American Division was the keynote speaker on Sabbath
“We are so happy and proud for what God did here. Today is not just about the Mt. Salem congregation, it is about Christ.”
“The church is a spiritual organism. It is called and brought together, and held and kept together by the cohesive power of the blood of Jesus Christ.”
In reflecting on some of the pioneers of the church, Braham lauded past community Services leader Lebert Chamber for his relentless work in the community.
“The Seventh-day Adventist Church is light, Adventist Church is salt, Adventist Church is leaven, anywhere the Church goes the Church must make a difference. Touching the lives of people.” Braham added.
Pastor Glen O. Samuels, President of West Jamaica Conference, who was the keynote speaker for the Friday evening vespers service said, “the Church must not lose sight of its true purpose, that of saving souls for God’s kingdom.”
In his charge, he encouraged the church to continue to be a catalyst for change in the community. “We must not forget the purpose for which the Church was raised up, that of preaching the Gospel. This is what we need to effect transformation of lives.”
“We must not loose sight of what God has called us to do,” said Samuels.
The Mount Salem Church was born out of a tent evangelistic series held on the grounds adjacent to the Cornwall Regional Hospital in the summer of 1986, with Evangelist, Pastor John Calvin Palmer.
Pastoral leadership for the young congregation was provided by Pastor Kenneth G. Samuels, who at 97 years old, was present to celebrate with the congregation on the weekend.
“I want to thank God that the church is still going. With all the years that have passed and all that is happening the church is alive still. God has increased the membership so much.” said Samuels.
One of the pioneer members, Bro. Campbell, in reflecting on the church’s journey said, “All was through faith, everything that we accomplished was through faith in God.”
“Sometimes we feel that things are above what we can accomplish in God’s name, but hold on, never give up, press on, and whatever we desire of God it will be accomplished,” Campbell added, as he encouraged the membership.
Sis. Housen, who joined the church during its early years shared the strong motivation to move from the Mt. Salem Primary and Junior High School.
“We walked from Montego Bay to Hopewell (February 1971) in a walkathon to raise funds for the new church” she said.
Member of Parliament for St James Central, Heroy Clarke said, “The Mt. Salem Church has been a significant part of the development of the Mt. Salem community.”
“Your work plays a key role changing the lives of members of the community,” Clarke added.
In reflecting on the involvement of the youth of the Church in community services in those early years she said, “Before AY we would do community service, what we couldn’t do on Sabbath we would go back to do on a Sunday.”
The fiftieth-anniversary calendar of events began on May 5 of this year with an Anniversary Gospel Concert. On May 26, an anniversary Harvest was held, and on July 15th a joint community health fair with the Mt. Salem Primary and Junior High School was held. A Jamaica night social was held on August 1, and from August 5 to September 19, the church was engaged in fifty (50) days of prayer.
The anniversary weekend climaxed with an evening of elegance on Sunday, September 23, 2018, at the Grand-A-View Guest House, with keynote speaker Pastor Everett E. Brown, President of Jamaica Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
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