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Jamaicans get baptised, praise God as they welcome 2018

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Thousands of Jamaicans flocked to churches across the country Sunday night, giving God thanks for keeping them safe throughout 2017 and asking His guidance for the New Year.

Some took the decision to get baptised and voiced their commitment to a changed life in service to God, winning approval of their newfound Christian brothers and sisters.

At New Testament Church of God on Waltham Park Road in Kingston, lead pastor, Rev Dr Roy Notice, applauded the eight baptismal candidates heartily for making the move.

“This is it. I am ready. So I decided to take the step to walk with God. I know there are challenges but these are challenges that I am willing to take on,” Tracy-Ann Williams testified before the baptisms began.

Another candidate, Jo-Ann Sinclair, shared that she was a “backslider”, and at one point got involved with the wrong men. But said she was now turning over a new leaf and was praying for the strength needed to embark on her Christian journey.

In the St Andrew community of Maverley, the traditional Watchnight Service at Deliverance Church of God began with a baptism of four converts.

The first thing they did as Christians was to partake in the Lord's Supper and the washing of the saints' feet, two symbolic Christian rituals that have been a tradition during the church's New Year's Eve service.

Dressed in full white, worshippers clapped, danced and sang praises to God.

As the clock struck 12, joyful shouts of praise filled the building, and the praise team led worshippers in singing “So long, bye bye, so long, bye bye, goodbye to my pain and my sorrow, so long, bye bye”.

At Church of the Open Bible on Washington Boulevard, Kingston, members of the deaf community, with the help of interpreter Mian Quinland, were obviously enjoying the service as they were seen clapping, dancing and absorbing the message of the pastor.

Inside and outside the packed building, children and adults could be seen worshipping. Some could not find seats and had to stand, but this did not deter them from paying keen attention to the night's programme.