Features & Commentaries

Is the SDA Church Accessible? A Question for Mission-minded Adventists

11 Jul 2020 | NCC Staff | North Caribbean Conference

“And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:  them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” (John 10: 16) With these words of Jesus swirling in his thoughts, Pastor Jerome Bevans, who leads District #3 on Tortola, was moved at 10:33 p.m. on June 23, 2020, to record a pastoral encounter.  

Pastor Bevans shared: “Greetings friends. Today, I had an encounter with a gentleman in the community that I have to share with you.  I was given a contact for an individual [who] requested to be baptized. I visited and this is his story.  He lives on the left side of the bridge, headed toward Beef Island. He grew up going from church to church, including Adventist. [When he became] an adult and started to study the Bible deeply for himself, [he] was convicted of the Bible Sabbath. He church-hopped for many years until a few months before today [when] he started listening to Doug [Batchelor and] other TV/internet programs. He stopped working on Sabbath to keep Sabbath at home. The Holy Spirit convicted him that he needed to join the Church [which] keeps the Sabbath. 

Long story short, he got up [two] weeks ago, one Sabbath morning, and said: ‘The first church I find open, I will attend’. Remember now - he lives [a short distance] from Maranatha [SDA Church]. He told me [that] he passed Maranatha [but] it was closed and he went [to] East End [SDA] Church.  [He] passed other churches and they were closed [because], of course, they don’t keep the Sabbath.  He did this for [two] Sabbaths and we (Maranatha) were closed. He went [to] East End [and] gave the elder his information.  I visited him today and he will be baptized on Sabbath. Praise God!  

But my question is - why was Maranatha church building closed [for three] Sabbaths, consecutively, and we are headed for the [fourth] when we could be open? We invested money - lots of money and time to be open. Why is the building closed? I said to myself - here was an opportunity to have a new member added to our fellowship, if we were open!

[Of] course, without [questioning] my Church, I am trying to create accountability for choices.”

Article extracted from the NCC Communications newsletter