Pastor calls for certification of people involved in Christian ministry

BY RACQUEL PORTER
Observer staff reporter
porterr@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, November 19, 2018

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PASTOR of the Freedom Evangelical Association Dr Romeon Facey says people who are ministering to the public should be certified.

“The social, political and spiritual landscapes in our nation are changing with technology, and with the co-mingling of nations we are finding out today that even the values and the norms of our society are changing, and it is not changing in a good way; it is changing in a negative way and because of what is happening and the level of 'darkness' that we are seeing in our world today, we here at Freedom Evangelical Association have taken the stand that those persons who are called to ministry in this time must be developed theologically in terms of moving in their spiritual gifts to deal with the changes that are happening in the country at this time,” Dr Facey continued.

“...We know that we cannot have church today as usual. When people come to church we have to deal with all different types of needs; and it is not every day it is financial, some needs are spiritual. Jesus says in Matthew 28 that [we should] go into the world and make disciples of all men [and] so those who are called to the ministry must be disciplined people [and] they must be trained in the areas of their calling to deal with the different issues that challenge us today,” he explained.

Facey was speaking at the graduation of the second cohort of students from the Freedom Evangelical Association School of Glory, recently.

The programme, which is offered in association with the Canada-based Mount Olive Bible Institute and Seminary, saw 19 of the 28 Christian students who embarked on a year-long journey graduating with associate degrees and diplomas. Those who graduated with associate degrees must successfully complete the diploma programme before they are allow to pursue that programme. Students who have pursued courses elsewhere are required to provide a transcript before they can register for the associate degree.

“For those who studied in our diploma course we undergo not just in theory but practical. I remember some years ago going into a church and the pastor was preaching about how Jesus healed the sick and he preached for one hour, and [yet] 90 per cent of his congregation was sick and he was preaching about how Jesus healed the sick. I was only a guest speaker [at the service], but I did less preaching and more praying. People who were sick were healed in one service. This is an area that we [concentrate on] at the school of glory; taking your mind to deep levels of thought, and your spirit to a deep level of spiritual authority,” he explained.

Demonology, deliverance, the prophetic ministry, pulpit etiquette, public speaking, intercession, and spiritual warfare are among the courses covered by the diploma students, who all were required to deliver a message.

The degree class also studied church history, homiletics, hermeneutics, healing, leadership, and pastoral counselling, among other areas.

Minister Karvel Yee, who was the valedictorian for the associate degree class, said he did not plan to pursue a career in religion.

“Pastor work is not easy. I told myself while I was growing up that I didn't want to be any pastor. This was prophecy over my life when I was five years old, and that woman of God that prophesied over my life just gives a smile when she sees me. I know today she is very proud of me,” Lee said as he delivered the valedictory address.

A member of Freedom Evangelical Association, Lee said he is now equipped with the necessary skills to minister to the public.

Simona Rumble was valedictorian for the diploma class.

Guest speaker, Dr C Lloyd Battieste, chancellor of the Mount Olive Bible Institute and Seminary, told the graduates to expect and embrace difficulties in life.

“It is amazing how today's obstacles prepare us for tomorrow's opportunities. It is necessary for you to have that obstacle today because it is a preparation for tomorrow. Life will not always go your way. Get use to it, learn from it, grow with it, and understand that on the journey, that is just part of your story. Life is an adventure,” he exhorted.

Noting that life will have moments of frustration, Dr Battieste said emotion is the greatest enemy, saying it will cause one to curse even when they don't intend to.

“Emotion will cause you to think that a person is your enemy when he is your friend. Great is the man who is willing to curb his emotion and bring it under control,” he said, adding that every physical fight is caused by emotion.

Culture Minister Olivia “Babsy” Grange, in a message delivered by Councillor George Moodie, said the church is one of the principal agencies of socialisation and socio-cultural development and has historically been ready to fill the gap where other institutions, like the family, flounder or fail.

“As our country continues to confront serious challenges, such as violence, crime and other antisocial behaviours, not the least of which is rampant abuse of the vulnerable, in particular our children, women and the elderly, the Church must be part of all efforts to engage for the betterment of the masses of our poor, needy and oppressed,” she said.

“In this spirit of shared destiny, there can be no longer separation of the Church's role in promoting doctrine, worship and theology from its alignment with the physical realities of the lives of the people. Our country is in need of more hands to provide food to the hungry and drink to the thirsty, to free those in prison from the bondage of their crimes, to give hope to the hopeless and frustrated, and to help those who are lost to find their way back to positive living,” said the Cabinet minister.

Grange, in congratulating the graduates, urged them to work with political and civil representatives in various communities so that they can promote peace and love.

“We ask you not to be daunted by the challenges but continue relentlessly with the poor, needy and oppressed to bring them into the better life which is the will of our Heavenly Father,” she added.

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