This evening I stand here to offer warmest congratulatory remarks to the Pastor and members of this faith community on the celebration of your 50th anniversary of ministry in our nation. Fifty (50) years of existence is certainly a very significant milestone. This is your golden jubilee year! Fifty years is one of the many milestones that persons look forward to; I too am looking forward to 50 years of existence in the coming years.
Let me pause briefly at this point to say thank you to Pastor Johnson Cuffy and the church leadership for extending an invitation for me to share congratulatory remarks.
Today’s “Entrepreneurial, Skilled and Graduate” Service is truly a creative and inspiring initiative that puts into focus the individual and collective achievements of the membership of this church. The journey to today certainly would not have been an easy one.
I understand that this ministry began 1968 in Basseterre on Shaw Avenue in the Mc Knight community, and it was under the leadership of the late Bishop John Cuffy. I have learnt that at that time, his entry on the religious landscape was quite noticeable because he challenged the membership to pursue greater spiritual and personal attainments- he clearly connected the beliefs of the membership with their daily lives. It is evident that during the years, this mandate has been upheld and it forms part of this evening’s celebration in this service. I therefore congratulate the leadership for remaining faithful to the founding principles of this congregation and for keeping the membership focused throughout the years.
We all know that this location was not always the home of this Church. After the start in the Mc Knight community, this church was having experiences of moving, similar to the Children of Israel’s journey through the wilderness to the promised land. This community would have made its temporary home at Fiennes Avenue and at Station Street in Sandy Point before journeying back to Basseterre to Taylor’s Range where you worshipped under a Tent for 8 years. These would have certainly been trying years, but thanks be to God, you are now in your own space, this your permanent location here Gillard’s Housing Development in St. Peters. I would therefore want to commend you for not losing hope and purpose during the many years of moving while you were working hard towards owning your building to house the Church. [Applaud].
Tonight’s celebration captioned “Entrepreneurial, Skilled and Graduate” Service” recognises the achievements of many of you who would have been receptive to the message of the church’s leadership to empower yourselves spiritually, academically, economically, and socially. Many of you have advanced yourselves in your education, in business, and in service. When a church remains relevant in its members’ lives and motivates them to grow and not become satisfied in their current state, then that church is bound to reach very far and expand its territories.
It is my understanding that some of you have earned graduate and post graduate degrees [Applaud], some of you have gained a skill that has improved your life options [ Applaud], while some of you have become entrepreneurs and are charting your own business [Applaud]. These are all very commendable achievements and they have certainly enhanced the life choices and standard of living of many in this congregation. Your advances are also working to upgrade the quality of our nation’s human resources, and skills, goods and services that are available within our nation. Thus, to all of you who would be recognised and awarded this evening, I say hearty congratulations.
As I think further about the intent of tonight’s service, I am very heartened by the ways in which this church’s leadership has found new, creative and worthwhile ways to empower and inspire its membership and to reach the community within which it operates. I was also very pleased to learn that this Church will be awarding a Scholarship to a student from the Deane Glasford Primary School who has demonstrated potential and who would benefit tremendously from having access to resources that would enhance the educational journey. This is a very noble exercise that demonstrates that this church is equally committed to the people of the community as it is to its membership.
Finally, I want to place on record again this Government’s gratitude to the Way, Truth and Life Assembly for the sterling role it has played in the communities where it has served. You have been helping to create the kinds of citizens who can contribute meaningfully to national development and to a nation where peace abounds. I am very thankful to God for all He has done and all He continues to do through this faith community. It is therefore my sincere hope that all of the events that you have planned for your 50th anniversary celebrations would go exceptionally well.
In closing, I extend heartiest congratulations to Pastor Johnson Cuffy and the membership of the Way, Truth and Life Assembly on your 50th anniversary.
Wholehearted congratulations to all who would be honoured here tonight at this golden jubilee “Entrepreneurial, Skilled and Graduate” Service, and I wish the leadership and members of this Church 50 more years of positive and meaningful ministry in this community and our nation.
Have a splendid celebration.
Congratulations. May God bless you all.