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Members of the South Bahamas Conference of the Seventh-day Adventists celebrated the official opening of the New Bahamas Academy located on Marshall Road in southern New Providence on Sunday.
The ceremony culminated the centennial anniversary of the school, which was started in 1912 by two missionaries in a lodge hall on Meeting Street. The present school opened its doors at its location on September 9, 2011.
Among the dignitaries in attendance were Phillip Davis, acting prime minister; Dr. Hubert Minnis, leader of the opposition; Jerome Fitzgerald, minister of education, science and technology; Dr. Andre Rollins, Member of Parliament for Fort Charlotte; Dr. Trevor Gardner, president of Northern Caribbean University (NCU) in Jamaica; Dr. Leonard Johnson, president of the Atlantic Caribbean Union of Seventh-day Adventists; Dr. Hugh Roach, the first Bahamian principal of Bahamas Academy, and retired Chief Justice, Sir Cyril Fountain.
Fitzgerald brought remarks on behalf of Prime Minister Perry Christie, who was attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference in Sri Lanka. The minister commended the Adventists for building up their ministry in education.
In highlighting the role of Roach, Fitzgerald said he was happy that the veteran educator was present to witness this historic achievement. He added that under Roach's stellar leadership, the school moved from 100 students to 600.
"Bahamas Academy's reputation for excellence, character building, discipline and high academic standards, undergirded by Christian principles and love for God, was cemented during Pastor Roach's tenure," Fitzgerald said.
He also thanked the teachers of the school, past and present, for their service.
Gardner was the featured speaker at the event. He likened the building to the legend of David and Goliath, which is a tale of "probability versus improbability". He assured them that they could not lose in their quest because they had God on their side. The visiting educator appealed to education officials and parliamentarians to always have the God-factor in education and whatever they do.
After the official ceremony, dignitaries and guests walked to the front of the school where Elizabeth Moses, the school's oldest living alumnus, cut the ribbon to the entrance. Davis and Johnson unveiled the commemorative plaque marking the occasion.
The New Bahamas Academy is situated on 6.5 acres of land and has an enrollment of 872 students from K2 to grade 12. The current principal is Anthony Burrows, who is also an alumnus of the school.
The project manager, Winston Ash, officially presented the keys to the building to Burrows during the ceremony.
According to Pastor Paul Scavella, the local Adventist leaders are in discussion with the heads of NCU to obtain their approval and support to open a technical school at Bahamas Academy. The school would provide training for the student body and members of the public who are interested in training for careers in the technical field.
The age old question of whether the church should be involved in state matters is one that has no universal answer. Coming from a history in which the church's opinions were the end all and be all of a nation, to becoming a world where public recognition of religious beliefs is taboo, in today's world, people are faced with two conflicting choices that have no easy solution. Even though it is a tricky subject, religious leaders say no matter what the final conclusions, there should be an amicable relationship between the state and the church.
"This is truly a tricky subject, but I do believe that there should be an established relationship between the state and church so there is some sense of continuity when it comes to maintaining law and order in a country," said Bishop John N. Humes, national overseer of the Church of God. "Without a sense of morality that is consistently adhered to, countries are likely to face problems in immorality. I believe that churches should be free to stand up so standards of Godliness can be kept. There should be no settling or compromising when it comes to the job of the 'watchdog' of the nation. This is why churches should not and cannot take sides when it comes to politics. Our mission is to lead in the best way, and this cannot be done if we are blind to our own agendas."
The church and its leadership are the spiritual gatekeepers of the nation and they in addition to governmental leaders should be able to communicate with ease for the good of the country, said Bishop Humes.
The Pentecostal minister said church leaders should not push their political beliefs on their congregation or attempt to influence them in any way. He said it was important that the church remain neutral when it came to politics and instead see its duty as one to support the government - no matter who is the head.
"I see the prime minister as a leader of the country and not the head of a party. As a leader of the church, our mission is to guide the people in the ways they should go and be a counsel for the leaders of the nation. I don't think the church should have a marriage with political parties. If it does happen, you are compromising and forgetting to be true workers of the Lord Jesus Christ. We should always be the voice and beacon of God's work and His will. We have problems with unions and other problems in the country, but we have to let people know we can't put our personal agendas before the country's best interests. It takes sacrifices to build a better place. How we react will show where we go and the church should be in an objective position so it can properly lead the people in the ways God intends," he said.
South Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Overseer Pastor Paul Scavella said the church should always maintain a distinction between itself and the state. He said that it is not appropriate for the church to take sides - no matter how they feel about certain government leaders. And that it is the church's responsibility to be a counselor and support system for the people and the nation's leaders.
"Every person is given the ability to think and act on their own by God. As a church leader, it is not your place to push your ideas or beliefs on the people because they are the ones who need to make a decision on their own. Our position in the Seventh-Day Adventist church is that we maintain a distinction between state and church. We make it a point to support the state whoever is in power. It is not our say to which party should be in power. After all, the Bible mandates that we as leaders of the church should support the government for God puts them there and will bring them down. In the meantime, we must continue to speak His word and do our part in enriching the nation spiritually."
Scavella said church leaders should not forget that they are here to preach the Word and spread God's love and will. And that in these political times, leaders should be helping the congregants to make a good decision on their political choices through prayers and asking for guidance from God. He said believers should be wise and think carefully about who they put into power. He encouraged them to look at candidates as people and not party members.
"It is important to not only hear about their political ambitions, but also know their theological position. It is equally important to know this because their religious beliefs say a lot about who they are and what they are likely to do should they take power," he said.
The Seventh-Day Adventist pastor said it was essential for people to be wise in this season, but just as important for the church to be a beacon of support for the nation's leaders no matter what comes to pass.
Saturday 10th December 2011 7:30 PM
Dec 10 - Saturday 10th Annual Adventist Men's Chorale Christmas Concert Under The Distinguished Patronage Of Pastor & Mrs Paul Scavella, President The Southern Bahamas Conference Of Seventh-Day Adventists The Adventist Men's Chorale With The Bahamas National Symphony Orchestra Presents " God With Us" The Adventist Men's Chorale holds its 10th annual concert "God With Us" at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Kirk, Shirley St, downtown. Accompanied by the Bahamas National Symphony Orchestra, the all-male chorale comprises more than 40 men. The Chorale has raised over $30,000 in the past 10 years for at-risk young men and the Bahamas Academy Building Fund. Starts at 7:30 pm. Tickets $20 from SDA HQ on Tonique W. D. H'way, from members and at the door. Refreshments served. T: 341-4022 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By AVA TURNQUEST
Tribune Staff Reporter
POLICE began their probe into skeletal remains found on recently cleared Seventh-Day Adventist land yesterday.
Several articles of clothing were also found scattered near the bones recovered on the property occupied by Breath of Life SDA Church and the future Bahamas Academy.
Investigators will await an autopsy to determine the victim's sex and other vital information.
According to police, scrap metal workers stumbled upon the remains as they searched the cleared field for salvageable material at around 10:40am.
Pastor Paul Scavella, of the South Bahamas Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists, told The Tribune that the ...
By ALESHA CADET
Tribune Features Reporter
THE SOUTH Bahamas Conference of Seventh Day Adventists is getting a new media platform this Saturday, when it launches Word SBC 88.3 FM, a new radio station.
Followers of the church and other members of the Christian community will be able to hear a number of programmes on the radio station, including youth, health and family programmes.
Seventh Day Adventist pastor Paul A Scavella told Tribune Religion, the mission of the church is to impact the community through as many avenues as possible.
The church is also responsible for Adventist Television (ATV53), a TV channel aired on Cable Bahamas on weekends. Local programmes on focus on health, keys ...
The atmosphere is charged just days before the May 7 general election, but religious leaders are pleading for people to let cool heads prevail.
"No matter the weather or situation one is in, the principle of being calm and respectful is always a principle that all professing Christians should be living up to. One cannot be Christian without respecting one another and approaching all issues with a sense of calmness, serenity and peace," said Bishop Simeon Hall, senior pastor at New Covenant Baptist Church.
"When I think about this season there is a scripture that comes to mind, Luke 21:19 that says in your patience possess your souls. To me this means to live your life quietly. We should not let the furies of the world change who we are and disrupt our Christian walk. Let there always be a sense of peace in all that we do."
The Baptist minister also said that the candidates should also know how to conduct themselves as Christians, or at least religiously responsible people. And that there should not be any verbal or physical violence. Hall said they should be mindful of how they run their campaigns.
"What a candidate does to get power says a lot about what one will do when he gets it," the minister said.
And he reminded the people offering themselves for public office -- whether FNM, PLP, DNA or Independent to always remain clear-minded, to remember their purpose, be truthful and to put God first always.
Although there have been some minor disturbances during this electoral silly season, Bishop Hall said he believes Bahamians have matured and that more Christianly principles are being used. He said he is grateful to see that people are not afraid to showcase their political affiliations. But he did add that there is still a long way to go.
Bishop Laish Boyd, head of the Anglican Diocese of The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos said that all people -- voters and political candidates alike should remember that they must respect each other and accept that everyone has a right to support and vote for whomever they wish.
"Against that background of what is going on around the country it is essential for all people to conduct ourselves with a sense of calm, peace, cooperation and respect. We have to exhibit national comradery," said Bishop Boyd. "We cannot divide ourselves in anger in these times. We have to accept things as they are and believe that all will turn out the way it is supposed to. If we keep those thoughts before us as we go to the polls then we will be on the right track no matter what comes."
The Anglican bishop said people have to respect that everyone is entitled to their own opinions. And that if someone's opinion differs from what you believe, you should not feel slighted because they have the right to have it.
Bishop Boyd said the message is the same for the candidates running for positions of leadership. And that it is just as important that they respect their fellow candidates as it is to be competitive during these times. Politicians, he said, should not let the differences between them and the fact that they are vying for the same position deter them from still being Christians and brotherly in these politically-charged times.
While the leadership of the country for the next five years will be decided and is a powerful and important opportunity, the Anglican priest said people should not take it so seriously that they forget their real role in the scheme of things.
"When the ballots are counted and all is said and done, candidates should be able to listen to what the people have to say and respect it. The people speak with their vote and if you are not their choice there should be no controversy or anger. This is about the good of The Bahamas and not one solitary figure. Let the people speak. Listen to them. And obey them. This is our country on May 6 and it will still be our country on May 8. Maintaining the peace, harmony and strength of the nation is the bottom line and everyone should be working toward ensuring it remains that way. We are brothers and sisters and despite the times we should not forget that."
Seventh-day adventist president
Remembering to make the right choices even in the face of temptation is what more Christians need to do in these politically charged times said Paul Scavella, president of South Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. He said there is no need for the anger and violence people exhibit, as the election is just another day in another season, and people should not forget that life goes on after all is said and done.
"[Election time] is an important time for everyone but it does not excuse people from making poor decisions and being violent or disrespectful to one another. This is a time for people to come together and respect each other's choices. Let them use their God-given gift of freedom of choice and in doing this as Christians will minimalize the separation of kindred spirits. You have to make a choice to continue to love one another in these times because no matter what happens we are still family and should not let politics get between that."
The Seventh-day Adventist minister also reminds candidates to remain civil and honest. He said they should not get carried away and show the same management and care in their political roles as they take in other aspects of their lives. And that they should also see that no matter what happens, it is the will of God.
"In the book of Daniel, leaders are reminded that the Lord sets up and He takes down governments. In The Bahamas this process is done through the people so what the result says is truly the will of God."
Pastor Scavella said God inspires His people to install governments that will serve them best. And that this is why it is important for politicians to respect results and not take them personally.
"It is your choice if you as a candidate accept the results and find other use for your talents or to be blinded by loss and need to possess a title that is not yours to have and waste away your ambition," the minister said. "There is much to do and not everyone is meant to lead -- but for those who are, it is important to always be honest and remember that life is all about choices. You may not always know the way to go, but as long as you remember that God is there to guide you, you are on the right track," he said.
While expressing confidence that the current crime trends will be reversed, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said there must also be a culture shift in The Bahamas in order for the country to return to the days when violent crime did not dominate the headlines.
He was speaking yesterday afternoon at the grand opening and dedication ceremony for the Gladstone Road headquarters of the Atlantic Caribbean Union of Seventh-day Adventists. The headquarters opened during a time when violent crime is increasing in the country.
"We must rediscover and strengthen positive attitudes which earlier typified our people, and reinforce the spirit of volunteerism and giving among our people, most particularly among young people," Ingraham said.
"In truth, even while we will stem and reverse the anti-social and criminal behavior that undermines our society, we have a broader task and mission. That mission is to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence, a culture of mutual well-being and fellowship, a culture of life and respect for the giver of life."
Ingraham said the Seventh Day Adventist Church has long been a beacon of faithful service and Christian stewardship in The Bahamas, most notably because of its exemplary work among young people, and in support of healthy family life and healthy lifestyles.
"Your promotion and encouragement of responsibility within the family, the community and indeed the nation is most appreciated, especially so as we address the debilitating influence which the naked pursuit of material wealth, at any and all costs, is visiting on our land; for too many amongst us in The Bahamas have forgotten the true purpose of our lives - to love God and our neighbors as ourselves," he said.
Ingraham encouraged the church to share its initiatives on healthy lifestyles and faith-based best practices in collaboration with other faith- and community-based groups, as well as in collaboration with public-private partnerships.
"I congratulate the leadership of the Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, whose capable and dedicated leadership has demonstrated to the wider Seventh-day Adventist West Indies Union your capacity to assume enhanced responsibility for the work of the church in The Bahamas, the Cayman Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands," he said.
The 27th Annual Jeff Rodgers Basketball Camp will run from June 30 - July 25, this year, for boys and girls, ages 5-19, and will be conducted at the Kendal G.L. Isaacs National Gymnasium. The camp will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday to Friday.
The Jeff Rodgers camps are based on character-building through the fundamentals of basketball and discipline, and they get more and more exciting each year, with new activities always being added. A number of international professional basketball players and coaches including former National Basketball Association (NBA) great Mychal 'Sweet Bells' Thompson, legendary Tyrone 'Muggsy' Bouges, Coach Byron Scott, Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Klay Thompson and Coach Mark Jackson from the Golden State Warriors, and professional basketball player Michael Thompson Jr., are among the special guests coming to town for the camp. University Coach Scott Burrell will also be looking out for top basketball talent.
Supporting the camp this year are BTC, Bahamas Southwest Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists, the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Scotiabank Bahamas Ltd., Colina, J.S. Johnson, the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Bahamas Business Solutions, the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas (ZNS), the Ministry of Tourism, Columbian Emeralds, Sapodilla Restaurant, Caribbean Bottling Co., Baha Mar, Atlantis, Jewel's Party Supplies and Nautilus Water. Their contributions are most valued and appreciated, said tournament organizer Jeffrey Rodgers.
A new aspect this year is that the camp will operate in conjunction with the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture. A number of satellite camps will be hosted throughout the island, including Carmichael Road, Flamingo Gardens, Pinewood Gardens, Elizabeth Estates, Fox Hill, Kemp Road, Mason's Addition, Hay Street, and Christie Park on Nassau Street. These camps will be managed by instructors from the Jeff Rodgers Camp and supported by ministry appointed facilitators. Members in these communities are encouraged to register.
Also new, at the end-of-camp, during 'Fun Night' when the campers demonstrate their skills, the parents will have an opportunity to play basketball in organized scrimmages.
Registration forms are now available online at jeffrodgersbasketballcamp.com and at the Seventh-Day Adventist Conference on the Tonique Williams-Darling Highway, from the hours 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday.
For four days this Easter, the South Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists will present 'Then Came the Morning', a dramatic musical set in the shadow of Golgotha in the hours following the execution of Jesus Christ.
Combining narrative monologues, vocals, live music, video and choreography, the production delivers a multisensory display of the extraordinary events of Good Friday by presenting the story of Christ's passion and crucifixion through the eyes of those who knew and loved Him best.
"Because 'Then Came the Morning' opens after the death of Jesus, we don't actually witness the spectacle of Christ's torture or see him portrayed hanging on a cross," said the production's writer and director Melanie Hutcheson. "What we focus on instead is a series of firsthand accounts of those chaotic hours, each full of emotion and punctuated with music and choreography, in order to demonstrate the impact of Jesus' sacrifice on his loved ones and other witnesses to his execution. We hope that by experiencing their grief and observing the change that comes over each of them, this sacrifice will become real to the audience and cause them to draw closer to him - either for the first time or as a return to faith."
All the key characters, including Jesus' mother, disciples and friends, are intimately characterized and invite the audience to share in the range of their emotions, from the grief, guilt, doubt and despair of his crucifixion to the joy and surprise of its startling aftermath - the morning of his resurrection.
"The South Bahamas Conference is pleased to be a part of 'Then Came the Morning' and to be working with the young writers, choreographers, dramatists, musicians and singers who are using artistic expression to bring an awareness of the healing power of Jesus Christ," said conference fundraising and special projects coordinator Patrice Williams-Gordon. "The production was conceived as an evangelistic tool to reach the community through Christian drama, and adds yet another bold and distinctive dimension to the church's mission to tell people from all walks of life about the unconditional love of Jesus. Wherever your spiritual journey has taken you, this drama will be meaningful for you."
'Then Came the Morning' will debut at the Dundas Centre for the Performing Arts and has a scheduled run of April 16th, 17th, 18th and 20th at 7:00 p.m. For more information visit Facebook.com/TheMorningMusical or email TheMorningMusical@gmail.com.
Wednesday 16th April 2014 7:00 PM
For four days this Easter, The South Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists will present: "Then Came the Morning", a dramatic musical set in the shadow of Golgotha in the hours following the execution of Jesus Christ. When: April 16-18 & 20, 2014 Where: Dundas Centre for the Performing Arts Time: 7:00pm