Preach the Word of God unceasingly to reprove, rebuke and exhort, regardless of potential negative repercussions, the Rev. Lt. Col. Denston Smalling charged, as he delivered the Sermon at the Ordination Service for five Priests and four Deacons at the Cathedral of St. Jago de la Vega on June 29, the Feast Day of Saints Peter and Paul.
The Most Rev. Howard Gregory, Archbishop of the West Indies and Bishop of Jamaica & The Cayman Islands was the Ordaining Bishop at the Service, which was the first Ordination since 2019.
Focusing on the text in Paul’s second letter to Timothy, Rev. Smalling who is Chaplain of the Jamaica Defence Force, urged the newly-ordained as “custodians of the Word” not to get distracted or derailed. “In these days of feel-good, watered-down Christianity, the proclaimer of the Word must appeal to the conscience of the hearers. Never be afraid to tell them the truth,” he asserted, while noting that “sound doctrine results in healthy Christian living, which is in contrast to what people like.”
Warning against false preachers who use Scripture to promote their own agenda, as well as influential power brokers and naysayers in congregations, Rev. Smalling explained that biblical preaching should show people where their lives are not in line with God’s truth and help them to make the necessary corrections to live that truth. “The preacher must not pull any punches,” he said.
“You are accepting an awesome responsibility with many pitfalls and stumbling blocks. Paul encourages that you fight the good fight, finish the race, keep the faith. Hold your head straight, do your work as an evangelist, protect your integrity and that of the ministry to which you are called. Endure whatever may come,” he advised.
The new priests are:
- Rev. Opal Beharie, St Paul’s, Little London
- Rev. Carol Haughton, Holy Trinity, Grange Hill
- Rev. Teddy Blake, Gilnock, Santa Cruz
- Rev. Claude Campbell, St Andrew Parish Church
- Rev. Desland McKenzie, Cathedral, Spanish Town
The new Deacons are:
- Rev. Monnecia Duncan
- Rev. Bertram Gayle
- Rev. Kamar Prendergast
- Rev. Courtney Carridice
In keeping with COVID-19 health protocols, attendance at the Cathedral which is traditionally filled to capacity, was restricted to specially invited guests; however, the Service was streamed live via the Diocese’s YouTube Channel.