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Salvation Army pastor knocks churches

Says criminals doing better job of recruiting youths

BY HORACE HINES Observer staff reporter hinesh@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, February 24, 2014    

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — A Salvation Army pastor last Saturday expressed disappointment that criminal organisations appear to be doing a better job of recruiting youths than the church is at preaching the gospel.

Captain Derrick Miller, pastor of Savanna-la-Mar Salvation Army Church, also said that division among churches was contributing to criminals flourishing in the country.

"Even though Jamaica boasts of an impressive number of churches per square mile, so organised is this criminal system that they seem to be doing better at recruitment than the church seems to be doing at evangelism," Captain Miller told guests attending the second prayer breakfast put on by the Salvation Army Western Jamaica Division at the Grandiosa Hotel in Montego Bay.

He recommended that churches concentrate less on promoting denominational doctrines and put more effort into uplifting the lives of people.

"Every denomination seems to be more focused on doctrinal practices than actually getting involved in transformational efforts of people. If the church is divided, the people will also be divided. And therefore, the churches need to understand that there is one God," the clergyman said. "The denominational practices are not that important. And we should be more actively involved in the lives of our people."

Captain Miller also called on all stakeholders to join hands in charting the future of the youths.

"It has to take comprehensive effort — all of the factors involved," he said. "The Government, the church, private sector, everyone has to get meaningfully involved in the future of Jamaica. We can't say our children are our future when we do not do enough to preserve our future."

During the breakfast, Sister Dale Colquhoun prayed for the Government and community leaders; Brother Stephen Allen prayed for the nation's youths, while Deacon Baldwin Powell of Blessed Sacrament Cathedral prayed for families.

A highlight of the function was the honouring of the Jamaica Observer for its contribution to the ministry of the Salvation Army and the wider community.

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