“Going Together - Soaring to New Heights,” was the unifying theme for the Sixth Quadrennial Session of the Saint Lucia Mission, which began at the Castries Seventh-day Adventist Church on Wednesday, November 10, 2022. The Prime Minister of St. Lucia, the Honourable Philip Joseph Pierre, joined the administrators of the Caribbean Union Conference, field representatives and mission delegates for the historic session.
In his address to 167 session delegates, the Prime Minister congratulated Pastor Roger Stephen on his re-election as president of the St. Lucia Mission of Seventh-day Adventists, affirmed the process, and spoke highly of the Church’s service to the community. He said, ‘Your reelection is the confidence of the Church, of the leaders and trust in you as a leader. The government of Saint Lucia appreciates and recognizes the growing contribution the Seventh-day Adventist Church is making towards the island of Saint Lucia. The work of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the area of education is well established. The impact of the Church’s presence is visible in all sectors of the society’. He invited leaders to work together to fight the growing problems of crime, poverty and social marginalization.
Many leaders in the public and private sectors are products of Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) education. One former Prime Minister, Hon. Stephenson King, is noted for maintaining amicable relations with the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and is an alumnus of the Saint Lucia S.D.A. Academy.
The comprehensive President’s Report, presented by Pastor Roger Stephen, portrayed the session being hosted at a juncture when the Church on St. Lucia was grappling with the aftereffects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and still remained the second largest denomination on the island. He commended the participation of all departments and ministries and described their calling as one undertaken in the context of a world which experienced significant, though unsurprising, crises. He emphasized that they had to adapt but were blessed by church growth under the coordinated work of directors and ministry leaders. Pastor Stephen credited the accession of 1,286 members to lay leaders and expressed appreciation for their untiring efforts.
In addition to an overview from Pastor Stephen, delegates also received a detailed analysis of the congregations’ contributions, in a report presented by the mission secretary. Delegates voted to accept the Fiette Seventh-day Adventist Church into the sisterhood of churches, after twenty-two years of its steady growth and service in the community. Pastor Leroy David presented the citation recommending Fiette as the ninth church of the St. Lucia Mission.
Brother Hugh Gervais was a delegate of the Ciceron Seventh-day Adventist Church and he responded positively when the leaders of the mission unveiled a plan to bring churches in line with current trends. ‘It offers well for the youth of the Church and gives the Church the ability to embrace more of its youth’, said Brother Gervais who started to attend sessions while Saint Lucia was part of the East Caribbean Conference. To date, Brother Gervais and his wife have attended five mission sessions. He presently serves as an elder of the congregation and his wife, Sister Mathilda Gervais who is a nurse, serves on the session’s health sub-committee.
At twenty-five years old, Brother Ned Robert was the youngest delegate at the session. He expressed appreciation to the Cacoa Seventh-day Adventist Church, located on the southern side of Saint Lucia, for affording him the opportunity to be a session delegate. He shared, ‘It’s a whole new experience. Things I never know about the church, I am now understanding. The music and the preaching [are] awesome. I appreciate Pastor Exton Clarke and the way he expounds the word’. Brother Robert will return to his local congregation with a very uplifting report about the session.
At the end of business segment on the first day the session, Dr. Kern Tobias, the President of the Caribbean Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, delivered summary statements. He concluded, ‘God is continuing to superintend over the great Advent movement. Not every decision which might have been made was made, and greater clarity remains essential relative to a number of key issues. But the following divine assurance, through God’s modern prophet, should resonate more than ever in the hearts of the striving Adventist faithful: “Not one cloud has fallen upon the church that God has not prepared for; not one opposing force has risen to counterwork the work of God but He has foreseen. All has taken place as He has predicted through His prophets” ’. Selected Messages, Vol. 2, p. 108