time for rejoicing: Worshippers from the Spiritual Shouter Baptist faith in Tobago light candles during their celebrations at the Signal Hill Grounds, Scarborough, Tobago, yesterday. —Photo: ELIZABETH WILLIAMS

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Spiritual Baptists urge Tobago members to unite

THA's London calls for bigger role by church

By Elizabeth Williams Tobago Bureau

Spiritual Baptists in Tobago yesterday called for the religious body to unite despite a division among those who practise the faith.

The division was evident yesterday with the poor turnout at yesterday's celebrations.

It has been six years now since the Baptist community in Tobago was given three acres of land by the Tobago House of Assembly (THA), and to date, there is no visible structure to hold celebrations annually.

Under the theme "Celebrating our Journey with Joy and Praise", those gathered were called upon to be on a mission for God.

Representative for Canaan/Bon Accord Assemblyman Rolly Quaccoo, in bringing greetings, said Tobago Baptists must begin again to move with purpose and not forget their vision.

"I'm asking my Baptists colleagues, friends, to start one more time again, to move as though you are on a mission," Quaccoo said.

Former deputy chief secretary and former secretary for community development and culture Cynthia Alfred said the time for action is now as there is no place for disunity. She also echoed her dissatisfaction in there being no development on the lands provided to Tobago Baptists. She said come 2013, this must change.

"We have to see a building; we have to see production going on on this land. We have to see where Baptists could make some money out of this very land here. Don't let people regret that they have given you certain things," Alfred said.

Chief Secretary of the THA Orville London, in his address, said it was not a time to be passive as the church needs to be more involved in issues which are critical to the island, for example, the issue of constitutional reform, as there is a present crisis in Tobago.

Celebrations kicked off in Tobago with a procession from Orange Hill Junction to the grounds at Signal Hill and continued into late afternoon with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.

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