LIVELY: Keeping the rhythm with a percussion instrument is this member of the Spiritual Baptist faith during Spiritual Shouter Baptist Liberation Day celebrations at the Grand Stand, Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain, yesterday.
—Photo: ANISTO ALVES
Let your light shine
Minister to Baptists:
Minister of National Diversity and Social Integration Rodger Samuel called on Spiritual Baptists to rise up and let their light shine.
Samuel delivered the feature address to about 1,000 Baptists at the National Congress of Incorporated Baptist Organisation of Trinidad and Tobago to observe Spiritual Shouter Baptist Liberation Day, at the Grand Stand, Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain, yesterday.
Its theme was “The Spiritual Baptist is still alive” and marked 63 years of the repeal of the Prohibition Act against Spiritual Shouter Baptists.
Among those attending were Archbishop Stephen Julien, chairman of National Congress Goffrey Victor and Bishops Marlon Riley, Marlon Garvin, Anthony Goodridge and Terrance Gill and former culture minister Joan Yuille-Williams.
They were joined by congregations from St John, San Rafael, Isaiah Temple, Mt Bethel and Mt Sinai Spiritual Baptist churches.
Delivering a fiery sermon, Samuel said: “You have gone through years of struggle, and now you are free. It is time for us to know what we went through. Build and focus on what we have been liberated for. God did not liberate you, just to be liberated. Your freedom is ahead of you.”
He invited them to think about how they had impacted positively upon their community and nation.
On the theme of “light,” Samuel added: “You are the light of the world. A city is often hid by darkness. The world looks at you for direction. They would understand what is truth. They can’t see if the world is in further darkness. The world is getting darker. The light is getting dimmer.”
Samuel said: “Turn back your light. Let the light shine on your jobs, streets, maxi-taxi, wherever you go. Don’t complain. Just shine.”
Without making direct reference to the size of the crowd, Samuel said: “About two weeks ago, (Carnival celebrations), the place was filled. The next time we come here, the place must be filled. Let your light so shine that men may see your good works and glorify the Father which is in Heaven.”
He said Baptists were “alive” and the society would know them by their fruits.
Samuel said: “You are alive. You are powerful. Your voice needs to be heard for what is right. We need to stand up for what is right. Today is the dawn of a new era. People are crying out for that level of unity.”
Julien said, “There are no more struggles. Today, we can come here and give God the praise and the glory. We are going to be alive because he (Jesus) lives. Let us seek about going forward.”