Sitting in the North Atlantic Ocean between 180 metres and 340 metres (Mount Hillaby) at its highest level above sea, is the beautiful Island in the sun, Barbados! It is still considered a Caribbean Island despite its geographical position and is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the Caribbean.1
BARBADOS! Or ‘Los Barbados’ – meaning, “the bearded ones” - was the name given to this sunshine isle by the Portuguese who visited in 1536.2 The name is said to be derived from either the beard-like roots of the Fig Trees, once found in abundance, or from the long beards worn by the male Carib Indians who were the indigenous people at the time.3 It is also noted that the original name for Barbados, given by the Arawak Indians who were the first occupiers of the Island, was ‘Ichirouganaim’ – possibly meaning one of the following: “Red Land with White Teeth”, “Redstone Island with Teeth Outside (reefs)” or simply “Teeth”.4
Barbados is comprised of eleven parishes, all of which are surrounded by the sea except two – St. Thomas and St. George. It is a Christian nation and faith in God is intrinsically woven into the very fabric of Barbados’ vibrant society. Barbadian people are proud of this heritage, often quipping that, “there is a church on every corner”. Henceforth, it is no surprise that the Adventist message was first introduced to the island 125 years ago in 1891 and has, by God’s grace, flourished, bringing many souls to Christ.
The Island’s rich history also encompasses cultures and traditions passed down from their West African ancestors and their British colonial rulers, from whom they gained independence from on the 30th November 1966.5 2016 marks 50 years of independence and celebrations have been held in honour of this auspicious occasion.
Pastor David Burnett and Clapton Community SDA Church hosted a thanksgiving service on the 19th November 2016. To commence this special event, Pastor Dr Colin Thorne, one of the leading ministers of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Barbados and the Secretary of the East Caribbean Conference, gave the morning’s address.
His Excellency Mr Guy Hewitt, the Barbados High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, was also in attendance and joined with the brethren in giving thanks to God for the 50 years of independence.
His Excellency Mr Lazarus Amayo, the Kenyan High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, also conveyed a sentiment of congratulations to Clapton’s Barbadian members and visitors.
In addition, church leaders such as Pastor Augustus Lawrence, a representative of the BUC and Pastor Richard Daly, of the SEC and Area 6b coordinator, joined in the festivities.
The service commenced with a procession of the Pathfinder drum core, in their fine regalia escorting the dignitaries into the sanctuary.
Barbadian members and visitors were visible as they represented their island, wearing their nation’s colours of blue, gold and black.
The magnificence of the church building was complemented by the wonderful decor arranged by Sister Gordon and her team.
Children were given goodie bags filled with Barbados themed items such as an activity booklet, stationary and a Barbados 50th independence pin. These were lovingly arranged by Sis T. Donaldson and Sis I. Husbands.
Lunch was served following the morning service, which showcased an array of Barbadian culinary delights. Most notable were the vegetarian Fishcakes nicknamed ‘Vishcakes’, Rice and Peas and Macoroni Pie, with Coconut Cake, Conkies, Mauby and Sorrell for dessert.
The afternoon program, compéred by André and Eugenie, was full of praise and worship, historical footage of Barbados and quizzes that tested the congregation’s knowledge of all things Barbados.
The day was a delightful display of faith intertwined with culture, unity and joyous thanksgiving to God for the many years that Barbados has flourished.