“Celebrating the Past: Repositioning for the Future.”
Staff ReporterIt was a packed house at the Pentecostal Church of God in Saddlers on Sunday 11th November 2012, when members, invited guests and visitors gathered to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the founding of the church.
Over fifty years ago this year the founding Pastor Bishop George C. Gilfillan and his wife Emily had the inspiration to start a church in the rural community of Saddlers, Government regulations did not allow for any additional church to be built in Saddlers at that time. However, through the miraculous work of God they were later given permission to build.
In his reminiscences of those early days, Bishop Gilfillan reflected that, the one mason he was able to hire for the project gave him a price which he thought was a bit high, but he didn’t grumble and he got his monies worth, because the mason, a Mr Morris, was diligent, arriving before the seven o’clock hour in the morning and working till evening (to way past dark!!)
Among the invited speakers was the Rt. Hon Dr Denzil Douglas, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, who said in his address, that Pastor Gilfillan is certainly a special man of God, to have founded the institution some fifty years ago and be still actively participating in the leadership to the present.
Another speaker, the Hon Timothy Harris, constituency representative, for the area in which Bishop Gilfillan lives lauded the Gilfillan family, reminisced about a special affection for the late ‘co – pastor’ Mrs Emily Gilfillan, whose vocal ‘talent’ is still to be surpassed. He also spoke of the influence Pastor ‘Daddy’ Gilfillan has had on him personally and the many lessons he taught which are still valuable today.
Acknowledgement was given to the many clergy present, including Pastor French of the Church of God of Prophecy at Saddlers, Pastor Shelford of the Liberty New Testament Church of God, Minister Kenneth Herbert of The way Truth and Life Assembly, Pastor Judah Payne of the Millionaire Harvest Church and Bishop Cyprian Williams of the New Birth Gospel Tabernacle who in his brief address said it was at this church that he was blessed by Bishop Blair of Jamaica and was filled with the Holy Spirit.
The audience was blessed with many items of praise from the ministries of the church including the Sanctuary Choir, the Praise Dancers, the Youth Choir, Sis Adina Richards, whose signing of “Great is Thy Faithfulness” catered for those who are hearing impaired.
The theme of the 50th anniversary celebrations was “Celebrating the Past: Repositioning for the Future.” Pastor James Douglas from the New Testament Church of God at Jessups in Nevis brought the address elaborating on the theme and featuring the scripture passage taken from Philippians 3. He cautioned that while reflecting on the past is good we should always have uppermost is our minds ‘looking to the future’ for it is in that way we ensure that we are building and growing the Kingdom of God.
Elders were also acknowledged – Mr McNell Langley and Mr Edward Bailey 96, were each presented with a gift, as the longest serving members of the church. Mr Bailey said as a resident of Saddlers he readily and willingly volunteered in the construction of the building by mixing mortar for the mason. He has continued steadfastly and has remained faithful and committed in the church where he has found a church home and family
Following the service refreshments was served to all present.