From the 1900’s to Present
Generally, this period of the 1900’s can be characterized as that time when there is greater emphasis or perhaps push towards locals assuming a sense/semblance of ownership, though some persons contend, that where the church is concerned this was only in a “token way,” especially prior to 1967. Generally as a Methodist Church, this would have been the period immediately after the failed attempt at autonomy; and the push towards local leadership would have been motivated in part by the Missionaries themselves who desired to chart new territories. On the local scene, a lot of social and political shifts were taking place. For instance, a number of local political leaders were emerging and local teachers began to assume leadership of schools.
Within the church it was also a period of great emphasis on training especially of the laity, driven in part by necessity. The coming of the Deaconess Order in 1946 gave impetus to this endeavor especially where women and girls were concerned. A number of lay members came forward as Local Preachers to support the work as the complement of Missionary ministers was simply not adequate. While we would have had candidates for the Methodist Ministry as early as late 1800’s, it was during the 1940’s that our local black ministers began to candidate for the ministry as would be confirmed later in this publication.
Our local church has had to respond to these changes that were generally made throughout the Connexion which include: the Conference becoming autonomous in 1967, the Restructuring in 1997, the New Forms of Ministry and the implementation of the MCCA Prayer Book.
Within this period we charted new territories and established the eleventh congregation in the Circuit namely, Cassada Gardens in the 1980’s. Also in the 1980’s we acquired two new manses having demolished the manses on St Mary’s street that were no longer habitable.
We continue to grapple with the challenges of ministry including limited financial resources, limited ordained ministers set aside for fulltime work and insufficient committed lay leadership support, though we have a number of accomplished/professional lay persons in our ranks. In some of our congregations we continue to grapple with the music ministry as finding proficient and dedicated musicians is a challenge.