In the picturesque setting of Oldbury Camp Ground in St. Philip, Barbados, the East Caribbean Conference of Seventh-day Adventists unfolded a historic chapter in its journey. The air was filled with anticipation as Seventh-day Adventists from across the island gathered for the extraordinary event – the 2024 Church Without Walls Convocation on Saturday January 13.
Under the theme “Reach, Retain & Reclaim,” the convocation aimed to launch the Year of Evangelism and introduce the “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative. The sprawling venue, with the Children and Youth in the auditorium and adults worshiping in the open air on the lush lawns, created an atmosphere of unity and community.
Purpose and Objectives:
The convocation had clear objectives: to inspire powerful lives in Christ, motivate a return to face-to-face worship, reclaim missing and inactive members, promote Christian fellowship, present the administration’s vision, and rally the membership around the ECC Year of Evangelism and the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative.
The program was diverse and engaging, featuring a Gospel Concert, Praise and Worship sessions, a vibrant Pathfinder Band, compelling Drama Presentations, Dynamic Prayer Sessions, Baptisms, a Festival of the Laity, and a Parade of Pastoral Districts. The atmosphere resonated with joy, praise, and a sense of purpose.
Notably, the convocation witnessed the baptism of 18 individuals, marking a significant step towards the year’s goal of 1400 baptisms.
Interview with President Pastor Anthony Hall:
In an exclusive interview, President Pastor Anthony Hall shared insights into the convention’s purpose. “We had three main objectives for the convention,” he explained. “Firstly, it was to launch the Year of Evangelism and communicate our goals for the year. Secondly, our aim was to reclaim missing members. ‘While we have around 27,000 members on record, a significant number of them are inactive, and we need to reach out to them,’ Pastor Hall emphasized. And thirdly, we wanted to gather in large numbers to create a sense of organizational pride. According to his analogy, ‘We are a mega super store and not a corner shop.'”
A truly commendable aspect was the inclusion of activities tailored specifically to engage youth and children, a departure from previous conventions. Pastor Hall emphasized the importance of this initiative, providing the younger generation with their own band, decorations, and an environment tailored to their needs.
Reflecting on the event, Pastor Hall expressed a desire for a better turnout but conveyed overall satisfaction with the energy and commitment of those who attended. “The convocation achieved its goals, and the sense of unity and pride in our organization was evident. We’ve set the stage for a year of impactful evangelism and community engagement.”
As members left the Oldbury Camp Ground, the echoes of joyful worship and the vision for the future lingered in the air, marking the beginning of a transformative journey for the East Caribbean Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and its community.
Looking ahead, a convention is scheduled in Dominica on January 20 at the National Botanical Gardens, promising another exciting chapter in the Year of Evangelism.