THOUGHT: I am the Lord, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King. Isa 43:15

Pastors of the 21st Century

Pastor Vernon Connor

Pastor Vigil Sams

Pastor Kendel Doyle

Pastor Kay White

History

Cayon Seventh-Day Adventist church was founded in 1947 by Brother Joshua James due to a campaign led from house to house visitations and open-air meetings in Market Alley, Cayon. A few souls accepted the Message and began attending church services in Basseterre each Sabbath. In those days at least five and a half miles journey every week was expensive and inconvenient to a degree, so they soon had to find facilities in Cayon to worship.

The first meeting place was graciously offered by Sister Isa Abbott, which was her home in Bryan Alley forming the nucleus of what would become the Cayon Seventh-day Adventist Church. However, another meeting place was necessary for the believers to worship, so Sister Lucie Gilbert offered her home which was located in Market Alley. At the time, the number of believers living in Cayon was about ten or twelve namely Isa Abbott, Lucie Gilbert, Philip Fahie, Elaine Hazel, Josephine Alves, Frances Esdaille along with her two children Ruth Shillingford and Jeraud Nibbs. This small group of Adventist believers, observed that the state of flux that characterised the period, perceived the climate as ripe in 1947 for a major effort or evangelistic crusade.

One of the greatest moments of triumph for Adventists on the island came in the year 1962 when land was made available for erecting a church building in Cayon; a spot at Water Works, bordering the main highway which runs throughout the island. The believers could not wish for a better location. It was the ideal spot for a church building; large enough to accomodate its first structure with an addition twice its size, with space remaining. With the land, the believers began making plans to construct a building, but they were faced with the dilemma of not having enough funds to begin; so the Cayon congregation's potential growth was stifled because it was worshiping in rented facilities for over seventeen (17) years. In 1964, Pastor Ivan I. Berkel assumed the responsibility to pastor the churches on the island of St. Kitts and two (2) years after acquiring land, no one had attempted to build a church; so he assembled the believers and presented plans to start a building.

The project was near to completion, when Pastor Berkel was transferred to St. Maarten/ St. Eustatius district in 1970. The following year under the pastorate of Pastor Neville A. Premdas, the building was completed and ready for dedication. Pastor Ralph G. Thompson, President of the East Caribbean Conference of Seventh-day Adventists at the time, assisted by Pastor Premdas and Berkel, dedicated the new church building to the honour and glory of God. Twenty years after the triumph of owning a beautiful church home, the church was struck a massive blow. In the wee hours of the morning, before the crack of dawn on April 26, 1991, fire engulfed the building causing extensive damageto the physical structure and its valuable contents.

Once again, this time led by Pastor Joseph Aaron, the brethen turned to the leaders of the Heart and Hand society for help as it was the only available and most suitable building to accommodate the congregation. After negotiations, the Cayon Seventh-day Adventists were allowed to use the buiiding as a temporary church home. Forty-four (44) years had gone by since they had occupied a building on that very spot and now the church returned to the place of its birth. In 1992 a beautiful edifice emerged from the rubble of the fire like the phoenix of ancient mythology, rising from its ashes in the freshness of youth.

Under-Shepherds of the Flock

The Seventh-day Adventist church accepts and follows closely the Bible pattern of leadership. It acknowledges Christ as the Chief Shepherd, and His ministers as under-sheperds.

Eighteen pastors, seventeen full-time and one interim, have served the Cayon church during its first fifty years of existence. Some of these men nurtured and fed her during her infancy and childhood; others brought her through the turbulent years of maturity. We salute these dedicated servants of God who, through sacrifice, gave their time and talents to establish a center of light in the community.

1st. Pastor Oswald Carlyle Walker 1947-1949

2nd. Pastor Noel Bailey 1949-1953

3rd. Pastor Victor Hugh McEachrane 1953-1956

4th. Pastor Joseph C. Shillingford 1956-1959

5th. Pastor Nathaniel C. Gooding 1959-1962

6th. Pastor Kenneth G. Samuels 1962-1965

7th. Pastor Ivan Issac Berkel 1965-1970

8th. Pastor Leroy Liburd 1977-1983

9th. Pastor Kennedy Vanterpool 1984-1986

10th. Pastor Glanville Allen 1980-1986

11th. Pastor Wilmouth James 1985-1989

12th. Pastor Joseph F. Aaron 1988-1991

13th. Pastor Desmond James 1991-1995

14th. Lenn Robley 1995-1999

Included among the the under-shepherds who helped to evangelize the island of St. Kitts, and nutured the congregation at Cayon during its long and eventful history of fifty years, are Pastors such as Roy Hoyte, Neville A. Premdas, James S. U. Burton, and Pamphile. They, too, have inscribed their names on the pages of history. When the Great Shepherd, who gave His life for the sheep, shall return o reward His servants, may each of these warriors of faith receive with joy, their "crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give at that day... unto all them also that love his appearing" (2 Timothy 4:8)

Information obtained by the Book 'Lest We Forget Fifty Years of Adventure by Dr. Llyod E Mulraine