Head of State Donald Ramotar yesterday morning attended the ceremony marking the 170th Anniversary of the Smith Memorial Congregational Church at Brickdam, Georgetown. Also in attendance were Leader of the Opposition David Granger and Mayor of Georgetown Hamilton Green.
The church was constructed in recognition of the missionary, Reverend John Smith, who travelled from London to Guyana, to preach the message of the gospel to enslaved Africans.
Smith died in 1824, whilst incarcerated after being identified by colonial elites as being responsible for inciting the 1823 Demerara rebellion. The privileged colonials feared his compassion for the disenfranchised slaves.
Reverend Edwin Angel Walbridge, a London Missionary Society Minister sanctified the church in Smith’s honour in November, 1843.
Yesterday, the church was packed to capacity with its members, who had gathered to celebrate the anniversary under the theme “Maintaining our relationship with God as initiated by our forefathers.”
President Donald Ramotar extended his congratulation to the church’s pastor and his members. He commended the church for continuing through the years, Smith’s stance of taking the side of the poor and the oppressed, and for using education as a way of enlightening these classes of persons.
He appealed to the congregation to continue to use the example of Smith as well as those who fought against slavery in doing God’s work and in bringing good to those confronted by the social problems that exist in today’s world.
He particularly singled out domestic violence, pointing out that it is a national problem that every social organisation must unite to fight, and called on the church members to play their part in this fight. (GINA)
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