MOUNT SALEM, St James — Hundreds of Seventh-day Adventists from all walks of life came together on Sunday, August 19 to say farewell to Dr Basil Reid, the longest-serving president of the Adventist Church in West Jamaica.
Dr Reid who has served the Adventist Church in various capacities for over 44 years, died on July 20, after a long battle with cancer. He was 71.
Dr Reid, who upon his passing was director of the Ellen G White Research Centre at Northern Caribbean University (NCU) and an assistant professor in the School of Religion and Theology (SRT), was hailed as the consummate administrator who had an intolerable resistance to laziness, and one who loved and knew his church.
He was also described as a committed father who loved and cared for his two daughters and also a true pastor and evangelist who looked after the spiritual and social needs of his members.
Former treasurer of the West Jamaica Conference (WJC), Barrington Sinclair, who worked with Dr Reid for 36 years, said that his passion for the church was shown when "he (Dr Reid) cried like a baby for the Mount Salem Adventist Church when it was badly damaged by Hurricane Gilbert in 1988." "He love people," continued Sinclair, "and would give his last dollar to someone in need."
Pastor Astor Bowers, president of WJC, described Dr Reid's leadership of the Conference as exceptional. Reid served in administration for 14 years, four as executive secretary and 10 as president.
"Most people would agree with me when I say that Dr Basil Reid has served this conference very well," said Pastor Bowers, to a loud amen from the audience.
"From a human perspective we would say that he is one of those who has gone too soon".
Some of the legacies of Dr Reid's leadership included the establishment of:
* annual camp meetings;
* scholarship funds to assist children leaving preparatory schools who passed GSAT (Common Entrance then) to attend Harrison Memorial High School;
* relocation of the Harrison Memorial High School from Cottage Road to Catherine Hall, and
* a building fund to assist with the building of churches in West Jamaica.
In his charge to those gathered, head of the Adventist Church in Jamaica, Pastor Everett Brown reminded that "life is uncertain, but death is sure. Without Christ, life is a waste. Without Him life is meaningless, but there is hope and promises in Jesus Christ."
Tributes in songs interspersed tributes and condolences given by persons from the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (the Ellen G White Estate), The Inter-American Division of Seventh-day Adventists, The Jamaica Union Conference and its Fields and Institutions, families and friends.
Dr Reid's body was intered at the newly established Hillview Memorial Park, Moore Park, St James.
He is survived by his wife of three months, Valda, two daughters; Mikhala and Anecia, step-son Antwayne, three brothers, other relatives, and friends.