Outreach Sunday School
Securing the Future of Naggo Head
Elim Open Bible Church boasts to be the community church with the community at heart.
During the church’s quest to win souls by way of tent crusades in the 1990s, little did they know that these efforts would have spilled over into an outreach Sunday school in Newlands. This outreach was started by Sis Jacqueline Watson and was held in the home of Sis Miriam Lewis. Over twenty years later, this outreach is still active and became the prototype for others to come. Every Sunday afternoon children in this part of the community, come together to receive spiritual teaching from Sis Avon Lennon and Sis Herlena Williams.
In 2004 a small band of men from the men's ministry, MOV, began a prayer vigil that took them into several homes in the Naggo Head Community. This opened their eyes to the large numbers of children in the community who were growing up without any formal religious instructions. The Lord soon burdened the heart of the then MOV President, to start an outreach Sunday school in the White Lane area. This Sunday school is today being instructed by Sis Zeporah Clarke and Sis Carmen Halsall.
As the church continues to be burdened with the need to provide godly guidance to the children of the community, this gave birth to three additional Sunday schools. Namely, Foster Lane (2016) , led by Rev Brictoni Williams and Sis Marva Wilson; Cassinor Drive (2018), led by Sis Stacy-Ann Langley Kerr and Sis Maurie Braham and Westbank (2018), led by Sis Dorian Lewis, Sis Carmen Johnson, Sis Novelette Rhoden Reid and Sis Tamaika Hibbert. In total the outreach ministers to an average of approximately 100 children per week, with Westbank being the largest, seeing approximately 40 children every Sunday afternoon.
For the teachers, attending and ministering at these Sunday Schools, every Sunday afternoon, when the weather permits, calls for a great deal of commitment and huge sacrifice. What would seem to propel them each week is their recognition that the need is great and dire. Young lives are being impacted for good, and the community, for the most part, is singing their praises to God, and showing much appreciation for the work of the church.
There are many testimonies of the work of this ministry, too many for these pages, however as recent as in November 2018, Westbank, the youngest of the schools, would have produced 3 of the 8 candidates that were baptized on Sunday the 25th. Our own Bro Maitland Rodney was received into membership in 2018 and is also a product from the outreach at White lane. Siblings, Andre, Seanna and Gabrielle Tucker, are also products from the White Lane outreach and were baptized in 2018.
The harvest is great and this ministry can never have too many laborers. Is your burden for the children of Naggo Head and its environs? Then join hands and hearts with the outreach Sunday school. May our gracious God who has called us, commissioned us, and command us to go; bless the labor of the men and women, and rise up a generation that will also listen and obey his voice.
Matthew 28:19-20 (KJV)
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Meet me at Rosemary Castle
Rosemary Castle is a community poised to take its position as one of the most fruitful ventures to ever come into existence in the world of development projects. But where is this place? A small informal survey was conducted to find out if persons from Elim Open Bible knew of this place. The research would reveal however that many of the individuals who visit Rosemary Castle every Sunday and at least twice per week had no idea where it is!
Differences in names aside, Rosemary Castle is actually Naggo Head, and is bordered by Cumberland, Braeton, Bridgeport and Greater Portmore. One reporter puts it as the “gateway between Greater Portmore and the rest of Portmore”. Otherwise, the community is located in South St Catherine.
So how did the name change come about? Folklore has it that the name Naggo Head came after the beheading of an Indian by the name of Naggo, whose head was put on display on a pole in the town square. Some believe this to true while others never really gave it much thought.
As with many communities, Naggo Head would have seen its fair share of development over the years. Most of which being the expected increase in population which brought with it some improvements in living conditions, establishment of educational institutions, other infrastructural enhancement and of course places to worship such as Elim Open Bible Church.
The community had also experienced the unfortunate increase in crime and criminal activities and was named among the “hot spots in Portmore” as it pertained to criminal happenings. With the interventions of many stakeholders including Elim Open Bible Church, attempts were made to come up with solutions to eradicate this “infection” called crime. On January 14, 2010, various groups in Portmore came together with the belief that a combination of “social intervention programmes could be effective in battling the crime problem."
In spite of the crime, however, the community would over the years have seen an influx of business places and places of recreation. It is also considered prime for development of the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry in Jamaica. This started out with the development of E-Services which was later renamed Xerox in 2012. Further, Cabinet in 2018 has given approval for a joint venture agreement for the development of the Naggo Head Technology Park. The deal is between the Factories Corporation of Jamaica (FCJ) and China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) for the development of 34 acres and 810 square feet over a construction period of two years. This would see to the further expansion of Naggo Head contributing to the nation development.
Naggo Head continues to be on the table for even further development or enhancement, as part of the Major Infrastructure Development Programme, Naggo Head will be set with the widening of its main road as a means of alleviating the traffic woes experienced by residents and other motorists.
Groups such as BRACED Jamaica Habitat, have been doing major work within the community to implement plans that will aid its redevelopment by focusing on community demographics, sanitation, housing and land tenure among other things. All of this is being done to shape redevelopment plans for the 2030 vision of the community.
Naggo Head or should we say Rosemary Castle has indeed evolved over the years and based on plans for the future, will be seeing even more growth in the years to come.