This month, Smith Memorial Congregational Church Brickdam will celebrate its 174th anniversary. The occasion will be marked by an anniversary service on Sunday, November 19 at 09:00 hrs.
The Church stands on the green lawns of the parish situated on the south eastern shoulder of Brickdam, Georgetown.
It was erected as a tribute to the memory of Reverend John Smith, a London Missionary Society Minister, who was sentenced to die by hanging for the role he allegedly played in the notorious East Coast Demerara Slave Insurrection of 1823.
Smith died as a prisoner in February 1817. He had succeeded the Reverend John Wray, pioneer, missionary Society at Bethel Chapel Le Ressouvenir, East Coast Demerara. Like his predecessor Wray, Smith gave instructions to the slaves.
They taught them to read the Bible and Catechism. Smith, as in the case of John Wray, did much to lay the foundation of schooling and education for their congregation.
Quamina, a slave and senior deacon at Bethel Chapel then located at Le Ressouvenir, his son Jack Gladstone and other slaves suffered death for the role they allegedly played during the 1823 uprising, which had as its goal, the freedom of the slaves.
On November 24, 1843, exactly 20 years after the date on which Reverend Smith was sentenced to death, Smith Memorial Church was opened as a tribute to the work and suffering that he had to endure on behalf of his deacons, members and other followers.
It was one of the protest churches. The standard church is built along the east to west axis. This church was built along the north to south axis in protest of the treatment meted out to Rev John Smith.
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