Shalom Missionary Church

Subtitle

The Road To Shalom

 “Children, especially those who are not sent to church must be reached with the gospel”  These were the words of Sis. Iris Rainford to Sis. Barbara Kelly as they sat on her verandah looking at pictures of children whose lives had been touched with the gospel over the years.


Over forty years ago Sis. Iris Rainford of Grace Missionary Church, led by the spirit of God, set out on a mission of reaching children for the Lord.  This she did all over the Grants Pen Community.  Following God’s leading she started a little Sunday school on the premises at 13 Grants Pen Avenue.  This became her base of operations.  Since then every Sunday afternoon for over thirty years (weather permitting), she walked, drove or was driven there claiming this section of Grants Pen for the Lord.


In 1995 realizing that her strength was failing she began to seek a replacement, this however proved to be a great challenge.  It took her almost 2 years but in 1997 she announced that  a replacement had been found, today that person is who we affectionately call Miss Kelly.In late 2002 some of the parents asked Miss. Kelly a startling question WHAT ABOUT US?!  The need for The Saviour had finally been sensed by the parents.  Miss Kelly happily responded to the cry of the parents and went immediately to Elder John Roomes who was then the Missions Director of the Grace Missionary Church.

In early 2003 a meeting was held with the parents in the same area where the little Sunday school was kept.   There they expressed their desire for a church to be started in the abandoned day care centre of the apartment scheme.  Elder Rooms perceived this with tremendous joy as no less than a ‘Macedonian’ call and began the ball rolling to plant a church.

On Sunday March, 23RD, 2003, Sis. Claudette Distant of Grace Missionary Church, some bright eyed children and a few adults were participants in the making of history.  The first step on the journey of a new beginning that God was creating out of the faithfulness of his female servants over the decades through the village Bible class.   The first service of what is today Shalom Missionary Church was held. Evangelist Julius Creary was the inaugural speaker.   During those early weeks, chairs and other furnishings such as the podium were shuttled back and forth from Grace Missionary by a few willing brethren.

Sometime in early May of 2003, Elder Roomes initiated contact with Bro. Teddy Jones, whose involvement started with delivering the message one Sunday.  He still remembers that first sermon, “When Your Back Is against the Wall: God is The Deliverer”.  This was to be the beginning of a very strong bond between him and the residents of Grants Pen, which is even stronger today.  In July of that same year he completed his application to the MCA for pastoral credentials successfully, and has been giving pastoral care to the flock to the present.   The leadership of the fellowship was further strengthened by the presence of Sis. Andrea Bradshaw (current JTS student), who came on board just about the same time as Pastor Teddy.

The fellowship held its first baptism on December 31st 2003, with just two candidates, David and Damian Beezer.  Today they are still going strong, David as sound engineer and Damian as drummer.  Several baptisms followed in 2004, as well as other persons added to the membership through transfer which now stands at over 50.  In the early days it was the Sunday School children and a handful of adults.  Now attendance averages over 70.   Among those that have been saved are former gang members, and ex convicts and gun men.

We have moved from the days of borrowing and renting musical equipment, baptismal pools etc to our own equipment including our piano , baptismal pool, a laptop and a desktop computers, our own musicians, and a furnished office.  Many of God’s people have blessed us materially to make this a reality.  Thanks to them and to God be the glory.

In 2005 we had the sheer joy of being credentialed by the general conference of the Missionary Church Association in Jamaica as an organized, autonomous church.  Thereafter the decision was taken to use the name Shalom Missionary Church.  This is based on Judges 6: 24-25, where Gideon is met and commissioned by The Angel of The Lord, who offers him peace and safety.  He then builds an altar and calls it Jehovah Shalom.  We believe that Shalom is what defines us and what desires to use us to bring to Grants Pen and its environs.

Shalom has sought, by His grace to be a purpose driven church and as such our ministries are fleshed out through Membership, Magnification, Missions, Maturity and Ministry departments primarily, in addition to youth and finance and planning departments.  We firmly believe that every member is a minister and the pastor is merely a gift from God to the members to assist them in their ministries.

We have a vibrant youth department that has won several national awards within the denomination and whose ministry in the arts has enhanced the personal Gospel proclamation of their pastor all across this island.  The community feels our love and care through our weekly soup kitchen and monthly grocery assistance to the indigent, our barrel of love (clothing and personal care items).  Our whole person ministry philosophy allows us to utilize sports as a means of reaching young men in particular.  Our football team, The Shalom Strikers, made it to the quarter finals in the 2007 Whole Life Sprts competition.  The homework centre and library continue to be a lighthouse of hope to the members of the community.

God continues to lead us into innovative method of reaching the lost. The youth department has embarked on ‘Pon De Corner’ outreach.  This involves our youths spreading out on the streets on Friday evenings to meet, get to know and introduce the ministries of the church to various persons hanging out on the streets.  Every first Sunday since January 2008 we hit a street corner for both morning and evening evangelistic services, which may take the form of a typical service, or may be in form a dramatic production, or a film with a positive message.   It is our desire to be used by God in radical ways to reach persons who have not been reached by conventional means of evangelism.  The message remains the unadulterated Gospel of Jesus, the messengers remain holy and pure but the means may be deemed ‘out of order’ by the yard stick of the four walls of a church building.

 Shalom!