PASTOR of the Mandeville Seventh-day Adventist Church, Greg Baldeo, is calling on the Government, private and civic leaders to break the habit of the "freeness mentality" in order to move the country forward.
His call comes as Jamaica enters 2013 with grave economic uncertainties.
Referencing Nehemiah 2:17-18, Pastor Baldeo lamented the state of the parish of Manchester and the nation as a whole in declaring that, like in Nehemiah's days, we too have many walls that are broken down.
"This morning, with a sorrowful heart, I declare that our walls in this nation are in ruins," said Baldeo. "The walls that made up our moral fibres, family life and social justice are broken down; and our economic walls are crumbling."
Baldeo was speaking at the 65th anniversary of the Mandeville church on Saturday, under the theme "Reclaiming Manchester for God: the Place to Live, Do Business, Raise Families, and Retire."
Recent statistics have shown that, although the country experienced a decline in the murder rate, Mandeville had seen an increase.
"Our nation is not lacking in prayer services, prayer breakfasts, prayer vigils, he continued, "what we lack is Biblical repentance and the will to take bold actions and motivate Jamaicans. Our greatest asset in this nation and in this parish is our human resource. We must break the "hand-me-down" mentality. The mentality that says I am entitled to freeness. We must understand that there should be no profit without labour, wealth without work, business without ethics, religion without sacrifice, and politics without principle. As leaders we must motivate the people to use the talents that God has given to work and rebuild the walls of this parish and nation," he said.
The Mandeville church also used the opportunity to recognise three individuals whose work has impacted the parish over the past 65 years. They are Adolphus Robert Nembhard, 93, who, along with his wife Imogene, initiated the first group of Adventist believers in their home 65 years ago and who still serves as a honorary deacon and still resides at the address where the church began at 15 Hanbury Road.
Her Worship the Mayor of Mandeville, Councillor Brenda Ramsay, is the first woman mayor of the parish and under her stewardship, the Manchester Parish Council has been recognised by the Government of Jamaica for the "Best Overall Performance in Advanced Implementation of Core Local Government Reform Initiatives."
Member of Parliament for Manchester North East and Opposition spokesman on finance, planning, growth, and economic development Audley Shaw was also recognised for his work in the area over the past 20 years.
During the service, prayers for the nation and the parish were done by Pastor Everett Brown, President of Jamaica Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and Dr Denton Rhone, Associate Professor for Leadership Studies at Northern Caribbean University, respectively.
After the service, the members of the church marched through the town of Mandeville to pronounce their stance for law, order and dignity. The march was led by recently appointed Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police for Region Three Derrick "Cowboy" Knight, along with Mayor Ramsay and the Speaker of the House of Representative, Michael Peart.