Ground breaking Ceremony for $1.6M SDA Complex in Carrot Bay, BVI

25 Sep 2020 | Royston Philbert | NCC Staff

On Sunday, August 16, 2020, the Premier of the British Virgin Islands (BVI), Honorable Andrew Fahie, was among top BVI government and church officials who attended a ground breaking ceremony for the construction of a new $1.6M complex, to house the Carrot Bay Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church on Tortola.

Pastor Desmond James, President of the North Caribbean Conference (NCC), delivered the featured address, virtually, from the NCC Office, on St. Croix, to church members and community friends.  Pastor Desmond James commended the church’s leader, Pastor Leriano Webster, and the members for moving to have the church planted in the community. He said, “This is a celebrative moment for the church. Undaunted by the huge challenge, you are a sacrificial people, tenacious and untiring in your efforts to pursue the mission for God’s people.”  Pastor James encouraged the members to be a lighthouse and to embrace every opportunity to serve God and grow.  He said, “I know you are closely knit together and we expect great things from you.”

Originally built on land donated by the family of Sarah Donovan in 1954, the Carrot Bay SDA Church became unsafe for worship after it was damaged during the 2017 hurricane season. Brother Arundell Donovan, the church’s historian, indicated that the original building was demolished in 2019 to accommodate construction on land that he sold to the church, years ago.

The ultra-modern building plans include spaces designed to facilitate fellowship and the effective delivery of ministry.  In addition to being a worship center with a baptistry, the future church will serve the community and fulfill the three strategic guidelines set by the NCC: Serve, Disciple and Evangelize.  There will also be areas to provide services for children and youth.  Brother Samuel Jones, Chairman of the Building Committee highlighted the emphasis on sustainable energy, with LED lighting throughout the building.

Pastor Leriano Webster said, “My blessing is to see the hand of God as we decided to move forward.  He opened new paths that we did not see, in a village where the circumstances were hard and we are happy to erect this temple to His glory. The objective of the project is to create a facility that will provide a holistic worship environment and enable the church to provide a range of services to enhance the quality of life for our members and the community at large.”

Honorable Andrew Fahie lauded the church for its commitment to the social development of the island. He recalled fond memories of attending Vacation Bible School, often conducted by Sister Ingah Smith, “It was since then when I was 7 years old, I had heard of plans to build a new church. All I can say is thank God we are where we are now.  I want to say from the top of my heart this has my full support. Whatever I can do, whatever we can do, we are going to do it. This is not just about the building. This is about the community coming together for a cause for God. This will not only bring the people together for church but it will bring us together, even tighter, as a community and as children of God.”

Pastor Sylvester Williams, Coordinator of the Adventist work in the BVI, commented, “This is a monumental occasion to which we have come. This project has come at a most appropriate time to fill the need for a place of worship for the people of God in this community.”

The North Caribbean Conference, through its Treasurer Ms. Sanida McKenzie, registered support for the project by giving an initial financial contribution toward the construction of the complex. Ms. McKenzie said, “Although Hurricanes Irma and Maria shook the foundations of the church, the members fought difficult challenges together. Executive Secretary, Pastor Wilmoth James gave the dedicatory prayer. We thank God that, despite the devastation, Carrot Bay continues to play its part in fulfilling the Mission of the Lord on Tortola.”