South Central Church of Christ
South Central Church of Christ
Make known the wisdom of God
"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6"
The South Central Church of Christ was started through the efforts of Brothers Dudley Gushman and Easton Duncan July 1999. Brother Gushman who at that time had just returned from attending the Florida School of Preaching saw the need for another congregation in this area of Clarendon. The congregation's first home was located at premises 22 Sharpe Avenue just below our present location for approximately 4 years. Some of the members who were integral in the early life of the congregation were Brothers Easton Duncan, Calbert Simpson, Andre Gushman, and Dudley Gushman who was also the first minister, Sisters Eulalee Watson, Sophia Gushman, Dorothy Duncan, Leonine Wesley, Doreen Irvine, Cherry Lewis, Beverly Williams, Lillian Manning, and Merlyn Dyer. These persons have been actively involved in the growth and development of the congregation from its inception to present. |
The first few years we face some major obstacles. There were months that we could come up with the $15000 that was required to rent the premises and had to owe it only to find out that we could pay that month's rent either. The building itself was a constant source of discomfort for the brethren. We remember mornings when we arrived for worship there would be dead animals inside the building which created an unbearable stench. The building itself dated back to World War II so one can imagine its dilapidated condition, that's a beautiful way of saying the place was falling apart around us. Many persons in and around the community were also turned off from coming to worship with us because of the condition of the building and some of our members were also uncomfortable inviting persons to worship.
Despite these challenges we continued to press on with the work. Over the next two years we held gospel meetings and had a medical mission with the help of some American brethren that reaped much success for the Church. The Jamaica School of Preaching and Biblical Studies have also been very involved in the growth and development of the congregation. The students were instrumental in helping us doing personal work throughout many communities in and around May Pen.
In February 2004 Brother Maurice Davis preacher for the Sixth Street Church of Christ in Lakeland Florida and Deputy Director of the Florida School of Preaching came to preach in our revival meeting. On seeing the condition of our facilities expressed great distress and offered to help us to purchase a more suitable location on which to construct a building. At the end of 2004 we purchased property at 24 Sharpe Avenue to relocate the Church. There was a house situated on the premises to which we did some minor refurbishing and moved into early 2005. Brother Davis also made a promise to us that when we were ready to start building his congregation would give us some assistance.
It was around this time that brother Gushman made a decision to migrate along with his family to the US to take up a job offer preahing for a congregation in West Virginia. Brother Paul Blake who was at the time still a student of the Jamaica School of Preaching and Biblical Studies (JSP) but had been working with the congregation beginning in 2000 took over as the fulltime minister of the congregation. Brother Gushman left the congregation with a solid foundation and it was therefore not difficult for Brother Blake to make the transition into being the fulltime evangelist. Over the next few years the Church due to its strong leadership and vision was able to move from 15 members to approximately 40. Even without suitable facilities worship services on Sunday mornings often exceeded 70 persons sometimes going over 100 persons for a small congregation this was indeed an extraordinary feat that can only be attributed to the power of God.
In 2005 the congregation realized that it was time to start making serious plans for construction since we discovered again that the building was beginning to fall down around us. After praying for God's guidance we began by writing to our sister congregations asking for help in our efforts to date only the Church in Bull Savannah responded to any of our letters. A decision was taken by members to have each individual pledge a sum of money every month to be placed in a Building Fund Account at First Caribbean Bank. Between the years 2005-2007 the congregation was able to raise over $600,000.00 with the help of the Lord. Up to this point there was still no further word from the Sixth Street Church of Christ since they were busy helping to rebuild some congregations including their own that had suffered damage due to hurricane Ivan.
Close to the end of December 2006 we received good news from the Sixth Street congregation fulfilling their promise to help us in construction. The first gift of US100, 000 arrived and we began building in March 2007. Through the tireless efforts of Brother Duncan the structure went up in record time. He was also instrumental in making sure that we were receiving the best value for the money that was being spent on the building. By the end of 2007 we were able to worship in our own building with comfort there though there was still much work to be done. To date we have received over US150, 000 from the Sixth Street Church of Christ and we give God thanks for the many doors He has opened in using them to help us in this great work.
Presently we have worship twice on Sundays, mid week bible study on Tuesday's and young people's fellowship of Saturday evenings. Since the construction of the new facilities we have seen a significant improvement in the turn out for our worship services from the people of the community. Members are also finding much more encouraging to invite their friends and family members because our new facilities
The church has come a far way and as we look to the future we have high expectations of ourselves as a congregation. The beginning of 2008 we embarked on the first phase of a five year mission plan for the Church. We have short and long term goals set out which we hope to achieve with the given time. A difficult road lies ahead of us but we are all confidence that with God's help we can realize our dreams. We continue to seek God's guidance and the prayers of the brethren as we work for the growth of the Kingdom through the spreading of the wonderful message of salvation.
South Central Church of Christ