After sixteen years of labor, members of the St. Peter’s Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church, in St. Maarten, are rejoicing that their church building is completed and has been dedicated to the glory of God.
Pastor Desmond James, President of North Caribbean Conference (NCC) of Seventh-day Adventists, gave special remarks during the Service of Dedication on Sunday, August 5, 2018. In his message, Pastor James commended the church family for its sacrificial service (repairing the house of worship) and thanked the church pastor, Earl Esdaile, and the congregation for, “a job well-done”. Pastor James expressed admiration for the aesthetics of the church and reminded over 300 members and attendees to remain committed to the mission: “This is God’s house and we are His people. Know who you are. Know why you exist. Know your name and let [your] light shine in this community, because God is a God who keeps promises. He will never fail to keep His promise of seeing you thrive as a beacon in the community.”
During his remarks, Pastor Earl Esdaile said that he considered the completion of the church building as, “a parent seeing a child growing up from birth [into] a mature and responsible adult.” He added, “Though it was a challenging journey, the project brought the community and church members together.” He pointed out that the building was financed almost entirely from the sacrificial giving of the members and is dedicated debt-free.
The service was attended by former members and pastors of the St. Peter’s SDA Church, as well as a former president of the NCC, Pastor John Josiah. He congratulated the members on what he deemed, “a fantastic job” after the church’s first group of believers initially came together 19 years ago, following a crusade conducted by Evangelist Roosevelt Daniel. “You are a lighthouse well-placed in this community,” Pastor Josiah commented. “I am here because my heart is with you.” The former pastors included Vashni Cuvalay and Haldaine Greaves. Haldaine Greaves encouraged the church to, “never turn back but keep going forward,” during his address in the Sabbath worship service.
Remarks from the government were brought by the Honorable Wycliffe Smith, Minister of Education, who challenged the congregation to, “let the church be a place where members and the community can find hope and forgiveness.”
The new sanctuary, which seats 300 people, is a two-story building equipped with a kitchen on the first floor, a state-of-the-art audiovisual system and an artistically appealing baptismal pool. Now the newest building on the island, members see it as a comfortable home for celebrating God’s love.
The service culminated with Pastor Desmond James unveiling the structure’s cornerstone, alongside Pastor Earl Esdaile. Pastor Wilmoth James, Executive Secretary of the NCC, offered the prayer of dedication.