Congregational Union rededicates 192-year-old Mission Chapel
By Leon Suseran
”For as much as it has pleased Almighty God, to put into his heart and service, and has given us grace with one accord to gather ourselves together to rededicate to His worship and service, let us now with gratitude and reverence, fulfill the purpose of rededicating this house for which they are met in honour of God’s most holy name,” and the people responded, “Amen!”
Those words were uttered by retired Judge, Rev Oslen Small of the Guyana Congregational Union (GCU) last Sunday. The occasion was the rededication of one of Guyana’s historic monuments and symbol of African slavery, the Mission Chapel Congregational Church.
The rededication was specifically held within the context, too of the Year of the People of African Descent.
A special Church service and celebration along with an exhibition of old art and craft items and photographs were held at the Chapel Street location of the monument and saw the attendance of hundreds, including officials from Georgetown. The church was designated a monument in 1966.
Also officiating during the ceremonies were Rev Tyrone Sulker, pastor of the church; Rev Keith Haley, Chairman of GCU; Rev Ingrid Peters, Deputy Chairman, GCU; Rev Paulette Hannibal, General Secretary, GCU; and Rev Valeka Austin, Property Officer GCU.
The Mission Chapel Congregational Church was founded by Rev John Wray who instilled religious education to African slaves. He arrived in Berbice in 1813 and planted his first church, up Sandvoort Village. The church has been in existence for 192 years, making it the oldest church in the country.