History of the Seventh-day Adventist
Missionary Programme in East Jamaica Conference
The Seventh-day Adventist Church in East Jamaica has engaged in mission since 1890. Driven by the desire to proclaim the everlasting gospel to every nation, tongue, and people Seventh-day Adventists burst the confines of North America and entered most countries of the world. Mission here in Jamaica has moved through three distinct stages just about launching into a fourth stage.
1890-1926- The first tracts distributed by James Palmer in 1893 signaled the
spread of the church in Jamaica and the establishment of the Jamaica Mission.
By the time of the First World War the church had moved to the status of the
Jamaica Conference operating one church school, one college and a number of
members operating independent church schools. During these stages of the churches
development in Jamaica, all our leaders were expatriates.
1926-1962- This period which took us through World War Two saw the Seventh
day Adventist work being consolidated and national leaders emerging. The status
of the church moved from being in the Jamaica Conference to the East and West
Jamaica Conference and in 1962 was further sub-divided into East, West and
Central Jamaica Conferences. By 1962 when Jamaica became an independent country.
East Jamaica Conference boasted two High schools (Portland High and Kings Way High), and five other recognized church schools.
1962-2002- The local Conference grew and numbers multiplied under the new
mission strategies: Global Strategy and Global Mission implemented by the world church. By July 31, 2002 the East Jamaica Conference paraded six geographical zones, strategically housing 38 pastoral districts with 156 congregations and 48,000 members.
In August 1, 2002, the geographical conglomeration of the Conference
changed as West Indies Union in one of its strategic moves for the new millennium
increased the number of conferences in Jamaica to four (the East, the Central, the West
and the North Jamaica Mission. The impact on the East Jamaica Conference was
the loss of East St. Mary to the new North Jamaica Mission. Effectively, the statistics of the
East Jamaica Conference was as follows: 4 Zones contained in the parishes of Kingston and St. Andrew, Portland and St. Thomas, 37 Pastoral districts, 136 congregations and 59,636 members. Within the territory there is one hospital (Andrews Memorial); three clinics - namely, the
Penwood clinic, the North street clinic and the Trench Town clinic; 2 High schools - Portland
High and Kingsway High; five primary schools, and a number of basic schools.
Further changes were soon to be effected as West Indies Union seeks to carry through its strategic move of creating six fields in Jamaica. In 2006, the parish of Portland was lost to the North East Jamaica Field which comprised the parishes of St. Mary and Portland. The East Jamaica Conference having lost Portland to the NEJF was now down to one high school (Kings Way High) and four primary schools. The Conference still managed to retain 4 zones: St. Thomas, and 3 zones in Kingston and St. Andrew. There are 30 pastoral districts and a membership of approximately 52,143 members.
The Conference has been served by the following presidents:
W. E. Atkin -1940-1943
D. V. Pond -1943-1948
K. S. Crowfoot -1948-1950
H. D. Colburn -1950-1952
R. E. Delafield -1952-1954
E. H. Schneider -1955-1960
W. U. Campbell -1960-1962
H. E. Nembhard -1962-1970
F. E. White -1970-1976
J. G. Bennett -1976-1980
M. E. Weir -1980-1985
P. N. Hosten -1985-1991
J. A. Allen -1991-1992
J. G. Bennett -1992-1996
D. A.Bignall -1996-2002
M. G. Gregory -2002-2005
A. A. Cotterell -2005 - Present