West Bay – 125th Anniversary

The Cayman Islands Conference of Seventh-day Adventists is celebrating 125 years since Adventism was introduced into the Cayman Islands in 1894.  The celebrations began the last weekend of May at the Adventist Church, East End, the birthplace of Adventism, and culminated at the Adventist Church, West Bay on Saturday, 23rd November 2019.   

The West Bay Adventist Church is celebrating 90 years since Adventism was officially introduced to the West Bay community in 1929.  However, the first baptism occurred in 1948 when two persons were baptised.  In 1953 an additional nine persons surrendered their hearts to Jesus and were baptised.

The West Bay church is one of the oldest Adventist churches in the Cayman Conference and is privileged to have two of the pioneers still alive; Mrs. Helen Ebanks (93 years old) of New Mexico, USA and Mrs. Dawn Ebanks, (90 years old) of Batabano, West Bay, in the photo above.  During this special celebration service, under the theme ‘We’ve Come This Far by Faith’, the audience was taken down memory lane through a panel discussion on what church was like over 50 years ago.  Mrs. Madeline Ebanks also presented the history of the church from its small beginnings. 

Former Conference Presidents, Pastors T. W. Thompson and J. K. Thompson and former President of Atlantic Caribbean Union and former pastor of the church, Dr. Leonard Johnson, sent video greetings and congratulations on such a milestone in the church’s history.

Mrs. Dawn Ebanks was present, along with her four children and some of her grandchildren.  The Conference President, Pastor Reinaldo Dracket, said, ‘The church feels honoured to have a living pioneer present for this occasion’ and he expressed appreciation to Mrs. Dawn for her 66 years of faithfulness to the church.  A video recording of Mrs. Helen Ebanks was presented, in which she reminisced on ‘back then’, extended congratulations and encouraged members to remain faithful. 

Pastor Reinaldo Dracket, Pastor Wilton McDonald, the longest-serving pastor in the Cayman conference, and Elder John Wesley, chief financial officer, presented Mrs. Dawn with the Conference’s 125Years Anniversary Pioneer Medal.  A medal was accepted on behalf of Mrs. Helen by her niece Abigail Parchment.

All persons who were a member of the church, consistently, for 40 years or more were also honoured and received a 125 Years Anniversary pin.  Special recognition was given to Mrs. Rosena Ebanks (94 years), the oldest living member of the West Bay Adventist Church. 

One inspired writer wrote, ‘…In reviewing our past history, we have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history’ 3 Selected Messages, p. 162.

By: Nelda Rose Dracket | Photo by John Wesley

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