History of North Jamaica Conference

It all began in Mandeville, Manchester at the headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist church, West Indies Union Conference (Now JAMU). The executive committee voted to divide the three existing Conferences: East, Central and West Jamaica to form a new field.  East Jamaica Conference yielded the parish of St. Mary; Central, the parish of St. Ann, and West Jamaica Conference, the parish of Trelawny. These three parishes: St. Ann, St. Mary and Trelawny formed the North Jamaica field.

It all began in Mandeville, Manchester at the headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist church, West Indies Union Conference (Now JAMU). The executive committee voted to divide the three existing Conferences: East, Central and West Jamaica to form a new field.  East Jamaica Conference yielded the parish of St. Mary; Central, the parish of St. Ann, and West Jamaica Conference, the parish of Trelawny. These three parishes: St. Ann, St. Mary and Trelawny formed the North Jamaica field.

Leading this new division was Pastor Joseph Smith who served as president, Pastor Wellesley Gunter, Executive Secretary, and Elder Neville Condappa, Treasurer. In May 2003, Elder Neville Condappa departed and Pastor Wellesley Gunter was appointed Secretary/Treasurer.  The following year, in 2004, Marion Barrett was appointed Treasurer of the field.

At the start of 2002, the field gradually began to take shape, with its acquirement of a 7 ½ acre property, located on the Drax Hall Estate in St. Ann. Later that year, Mission status became a reality, with its first inaugural session held on Sunday, December 31. Three years later, the office building was renovated to better accommodate the functions of the Mission and the official opening service was held on February 17, 2005. 

The Field, at its inception, had a total membership of 20, 221 persons, with 107 organized churches, 20 companies, three schools and a campsite. The workforce consisted of three administrators, one fulltime departmental director, one auditor/accountant, one office secretary, 17 district pastors, two ministerial interns, one Bible worker, 26 teachers, 35 colporteurs and four ancillary workers, making a total of 91 personnel.

With not much time to settle, laity and pastors alike, conducted campaigns across the field. This resulted in 1,500 persons baptized, six churches organized and a tithe increase from 76 million to 94 million dollars. This all happened between 2002 – 2004.

While work was being done in the fields, the three schools also began to experience added attention. Renovations began with the Port Maria High and the Falmouth Seventh-day Adventist Preparatory Schools.  However, it was the St. Ann’s Bay High and Preparatory school building that progressively took shape with additional classrooms.

 

November 9 – 12, 2005 ushered in another significant change for the growing field, as the West Indies Union Conference conducted its 13th Session or the 5th Quinquennial Session.   

With Dr. Patrick Allen as president and the new Union administration, they elected the following officers to serve the Mission: Pastor Michael Harvey, president; Pastor Wenford Henry, Executive Secretary and Miss Marion Barrett, Treasurer. In October 2006, Miss Barrett was called to West Jamaica Conference and Elder Dane Ellis was appointed Treasurer by the West Indies Union Conference Executive Committee, effective December 1, 2006. Also, in December 2006 at the first quadrennial Mission Session, six departmental directors were elected to serve.

Another tide of change came to the Adventist church in Jamaica, as the Union administration voted to add a fifth field.

 In August 2006, North Jamaica Mission ceded the parish of St. Mary to form a part of the newly established, North-East Jamaica Field.  With this in mind, the leaders of the field analyzed the two parishes, St. Ann, the tourism Mecca of Jamaica and Trelawny the yam parish. And as at Dec. 31, 2008, both parishes had a total population of 245,995 persons, while the church records reflected a membership of 12,781 worshipping in its 77 congregations. This sent a strong message, that between both parishes, for every 19 persons one was a Seventh-day Adventist. The field was ripe for the harvest.

With Pentecost and More launched in 2007, the good news of salvation spread like wild fire, in every ‘nook and cranny’ of the Mission. Three thousand four hundred members were baptized, increasing the membership to 13,734. Along with that, God’s mercy and faithfulness flowed upon his faithful children, and were evidenced in an increase in tithe from 78 million in 2007 to 100 million in 2009.  During this period one church was organized and three companies were established. 

As the Church of God journeyed on, Pastor Wenford Henry, the Executive Secretary, was called to serve as the ADRA Director at West Indies Union Conference in June 2008. This led to the appointment of Elder Dane Ellis as Secretary /Treasurer, effective December 2008, a position he held until March 26, 2009.  Pastor Karl Archer was then appointed as Secretary, with immediate effect, by the West Indies Union Conference Executive Committee. 

With the need for a place to host large gatherings, Pastor Micheal Harvey introduced the plans for infrastructural development, to build a multi-purpose convention and wellness centre. This 57,290 sq. ft. building would be located at the entrance of the 7 ½ acres of church headquarters. According to the plans then, when completed, the centre would be comprised of a 30,645 sq. ft. worship/assembly hall, a prayer and counseling room, a recording studio, a gymnasium, beauty and barber salon, day care facility, a book and nutrition store, two conference rooms, offices, snack shops, a cafeteria, among other amenities.  On June 29, 2008, the Ground Breaking Ceremony of the Convention and Wellness Centre took place.

As the 2006-2009 quadrennium came to a close, it also ushered in new beginnings. On January 10, 2010 North Jamaicans once again sang their praises to God for obtaining Conference status during its Inaugural Conference Session.

This achievement was followed by the election of its leaders, Pastor Karl Archer as President, Pastor Gary Buddoo-Fletcher, Executive Secretary, and Elder Dane Ellis who was re-elected treasurer.

Under the Holy Spirit’s leading, the membership continues to grow and now stands at over 20,000. The conference has 71 organized churches and 10 companies, a total of 81 congregations.

Another major accomplishment is the construction of a campsite which began in 2013.  To date, the site has completed construction of kitchen facilities, male and female dormitories and a worship area.

Our schools continue to see a marked improvement in infrastructural development and quality service delivery.

The accomplishments of this field would not have been possible without those who have gone on before us: our past presidents, pastors, teachers, office workers, Bible workers, colporteurs and members who have given their faithful sacrificial service. For these individuals we give thanks.

North Jamaica Conference

Vision

To have every member anchored in the body of Christ in readiness for His imminent return.

Mission

To proclaim the everlasting gospel by impacting communities in North Jamaica Conference and preparing people for Christ's soon return.

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Our Contacts

Drax Hall
P.O. Box 4422
St. Ann's Bay
St. Ann
Phone: (876) 972-8594
Email: njc.president@jmsda.net