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August 6, 2013

Emancipation Day 2013 in Diamond Village

“It is amazing what God can do”. That was one of the themes that Bishop Ishmael Charles thundered in his exhortation at the congregation in Diamond Village. He was making the point that a person might have been born and raised poor, black and struggling, but that s/he could become a mighty force of good, with an impact that reaches far and plunges deep.{{more}}

Bishop Charles, the Caribbean Field Director of the 3,000 New Testament Church of God congregations in the region, was preaching from the spot in Diamond where the child Gladys Priam had grown up in poverty. That same child became Mother Priam, a life-giving servant of the gospel and founding mother of the New Testament Church of God in SVG. It was her prophetic mantra that “things will not always be so”, and I am sure that our enslaved foreparents had that same faith springing up in their souls and bearing fruits In their struggle for freedom. On Emancipation Day 2013, the Diamond Church was remembering and giving thanks for their leaders Gladys and Wendell.

The Diamond chapel was overflowing last Thursday with black souls, the temporary annexe on the roof of Mr Williams’ shop was packed and the occasion was the local recognition and celebration of the new Bishop, pastor of the Diamond congregation B. Wendell Davis.

Amazing indeed. Praise rocked the building; there was a shower of tributes and Ishmael spoke challenging words to the new Bishop Wendell, 1st Lady Eleanor and the children of the couple. The new Bishop will administer the care for the church in SVG and St Lucia and great things would unfold for the churches and the community in the region.

It was three hours after the service that Bishop Wendell spoke, briefly. He reported on his “bow” to Jesus, not expecting such challenges as this, and his 12 years of pastoring a supportive congregation. The new Bishop revealed that he didn’t readily embrace the invitation to become Bishop and leader of the church. It was so awesome and so unexpected, and more than a mere promotion. “We wrestled with it, we consulted God and after some weeks, a peace came to us and it was settled,” he explained.

The Bishop is fitting in gradually as the leader and responsible one around the table. Bishop Davis called on the faithful to be at prayer for the church and for his leadership and to be a constant example of faithfulness and love and hope. It was a Diamond Emancipation Day with a difference and the celebration will continue on the weekend at a nationwide service in Kingstown at the Wilson Hill Church. The torch has, after 73 years, passed from Gladys though many hands to Wendell.