September 2, 2011
Dr Fraser launches new Spiritual Baptist book

A local historian has launched a book about the fascinating origins of the modern day Spiritual Baptist religion in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and its struggle for recognition.{{more}}

Dr Adrian Fraser addressed a keen audience on Monday, August 29, at the University of the West Indies Campus, giving an overview of his book, and the inspiration behind him writing it.

The book, titled ‘From Shakers to Spiritual Baptists: the struggle for survival of the Shakers of St. Vincent and the Grenadines’, is published by Kings-SVG Publishers.

Fraser said that it took him about a month to complete the book, which he described as “something of an after-thought”.

He explained that in researching the 1935 riots in SVG, he gathered a lot of information pertaining to the ‘Shaker’ religion – initially known as ‘The Wilderness People’.

“There was a lot of very interesting information which could not have been used… so I decided just to bring out this special publication to make the information available to the public,” he said.

Fraser, who is the local head of the UWI Open Campus, said that the exact origin of the religion is “still a point of conjecture” among experts.

The book examines the factors and circumstances that led to the passage of the Shaker Prohibition Ordinance – which declared the religion illegal in 1912.

It then traces the efforts made to repeal that ordinance; and in particular the efforts of George McIntosh, who was one of the main political figures to have come on to the scene after the riots.

Ronnie Daniel, who chaired the event, referred to the period of time as the “interesting dynamics between state and religion”.

“Dr Fraser, quite rightly, mentioned the prejudices and fears that resulted from that interaction,” he added.

Dr Fraser gave special thanks to the publishers, who produced his book at such short notice.

This is the third book that Dr Fraser has written.

He previously wrote ‘Chatoyer – national hero of St. Vincent and the Grenadines’, and is the co-author (with Keith Joseph) of social studies text book ‘Caribbean Social Studies, Series 4 – St. Vincent and the Grenadines’.