Church Army

A SHORT HISTORY OF THE CHURCH ARMY

 How it all started

In 1882, the Rev. Wilson Carlile, a young curate at St. Mary Abbott, Kensington, England, began to have open-air services opposite the Kensington High Street Station. His aim was to take the Gospel to persons who would not come into the Church. Interested persons would be taken to the Vestry Hall for a short service ‘with bright hymns and choruses’, extempore prayers and a very brief address.

Carlile was assisted in the open-air services by local working men.  He later saw the need for these persons to receive training in order for them to be effective, and so in 1883 training of officers commenced. From such humble beginnings, the Church Army was born.

Church Army in Jamaica – How it began

 

According to the late Bishop Evans in “A History of the Diocese of Jamaica”, the Rev. F.H. Perkins, an English clergyman, introduced Church Army into Jamaica in 1892. He trained ‘cadets’ at Stony Hill. Apparently there were 106 ‘soldiers’ of the Church Army enrolled in various parishes. The group did not last for very long, because by 1896 the Army had disappeared.

In 1958, Church Army was reintroduced to the Diocese, when the late Bishop Percival Gibson invited to Jamaica Captain Ernest Cousins, an English Church Army Officer, who was then in Trinidad. He was joined by a Jamaican, Roy Wilson, and a Barbadian, Noel Foderingham, who had enrolled and trained in the Church Army College in England and were commissioned Officers. These three Church Army Captains concentrated mainly on open-air work and Parish and Diocesan missions.

Training

The first candidate sent from the Diocese of Jamaica for training was Egbert Robertson who served the Diocese faithfully for many years both as a Church Army Captain and later as a Clergyman. Many others have been sent for training over the years,

Officers were formerly trained at the Wilson Carlile College of Evangelism in England from which they graduated with a Diploma in Evangelism.  In 1999, an agreement was reached with Canada and our officers were sent for training at the Taylor College of Mission and Evangelism in New Brunswick, Canada. Training usually lasts for three years, but more mature persons may do a two-year intensive training programme.

The training was two-fold: academic and practical. Academic included courses in Biblical Studies, Ethics, Ministerial Formation, Church History, and Doctrine. Practical includes In-Term Practical (ITP) i.e. working one day per week in a specified area, and doing Autumn and Summer placements of 6 – 12 weeks. Students are placed in different areas to gain hands-on experience of ministry. Experiences include Prison or Hospital placements, working in Homes for the Aged, Drop-in and Youth Centres, Holiday Camps/Clubs, Night Shelters, Street Ministry, Parish Work, Beach Missions among others.

On completion of training, officers returned to the Diocese of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands for licensing and deployment.  Since 2011, efforts have been made to do training locally.

Church Army in Jamaica

Personnel

Commissioned Officers:         26

Full time CA officers  (4) :

-Sister Molly Walton  was appointed Head of Church army July 01, 2017

– Sister Averill (Gem) Roberts is in residence and is in full charge of the Church planting in the Longville Park Housing complex, is Chaplain at Glenmuir High school and serves at St Gabriels Cure in May Pen

  – Sister Melvorn Stewart is at the Cornwall Regional Hospital as Chaplain and serves in the  Holy Trinity   Cure  Montego Bay .

 -Sister  Andrea Taylor Smith is in the St Andrew Parish  Church Cure.

– Sister Myrel Retired  as of July 2018 however she is still in charge of the Children’s home until the replacement starts.

Commissioned  Associate Evangelists : (22)

Captains :

Rohan Dawkins          Church of Reconciliation, Bridgeport , St Catherine 

Ranford Campbell      St  Michaels,  Mavis Bank St Andrew

Christopher Givans     Church of Ascension, St Andrew  

 Clarence Hall             St Marks, Mandeville 

James Oliver               Conversion of St Paul  Gtr Portmore

O’dayne Plummer       St Georges, Grand Cayman (Relocated but not  assigned)

Sisters :

Reilette Allen              Conversion of St Paul, Gtr  Portmore

Flo Angus                   St Mary The Virgin, St Andrew 

Sanchia Bent                Conversion of St Paul  Gtr Portmore

Stephanie Barrett         St Pauls, Chapelton

Thera Edwards             UWI Chapel, Kingston

Agnes Hall                   St Marks, Mandeville

Marcia Hamilton          St Lukes,  St Andrew

Carol Howard              St Thomas Ye Vale, Linstead

Hortense James            St Georges, Kingston

Dawn Ledgister            Church of the Holy Spirit Cumberland St Catherine

Claudette Marshall        St Luke’s, St Andrew

Sharon Nisbeth             St  Barnabas, St Elizabeth

Fiona Simpson             Church of The Transfiguration, St Andrew

 Rupertia Smith            St Jago De la Vega, The Cathedral,   Spanish Town

Colleen Tinker Whyte   The Conversion of St Paul,  Gtr Portmore. 

33  Persons currently in Training to be completed in 2020.

Church Army Jamaica, unlike its sister societies, is not an autonomous body and operates within the framework of the Diocese of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Officers are available to conduct evangelistic missions and to assist or give guidance in the planning of such missions throughout the diocese, as well as training in evangelism.

Church Army International

Church Army is an international body and currently operates in the following areas: Africa (Kenya & Malawi), Australia, Barbados, Canada, Jamaica, New Zealand, the United Kingdom,  the United States of America, Vanuatu.   The National Leaders of Church Army, Board or Council members and Trainers meet every two or three years in what is known as the International Leaders’ Conference. Church Army Jamaica hosted this conference in 2008.  There are also quarterly teleconferences by which we connect with each other to discuss CA matters and pray for and support each other where possible.

New Developments

Since 2011, CA started the Associate Evangelist Programme (AEP).  Two groups of persons have already successfully completed their training and will be commissioned on November 16 at 3:30 p.m. at the Cathedral, Spanish Town.

 

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