It was in August 1993, on the grounds of the Leeds playing field under a huge yellow and white tent, that the Church of the Living God 7th Day International – Seven Corners, traces its roots. There, a cadre of well-dressed, friendly, kind, Holy Ghost filled ambassadors from West Palm Beach, Florida and Heartease, Manchester, launched a massive crusade. The crusade, which was originally intended for three weeks, was first extended to six weeks, then six months, then one year; until the growing movement was permanently established in Leeds, St. Elizabeth.
At the inception, a typical night under the tent was one where hundreds of onlookers would gather to hear powerful praise and worship, listen to inspiring testimonies from the believers about the goodness of God, followed by fiery messages and prophesies from the man described as the “shine head man with the long beard” – Pastor Gayle (Apostle Jameel Gayle). As the weeks progressed, many saw the need to change their lives. This resulted in a huge baptism where hundreds of men, women, boys and girls gave their lives to the Lord. Sabbath services then became a necessary addition to the nightly meetings and were highly anticipated by both saved and unsaved, as these ambassadors would ensure that aluminum pans were filled with fried fish, rice and peas, pasta, and dessert were close by for distribution after saying the benediction.
The church began to grow at an alarming rate, and the tent kept moving, as people hear of the great work and requested that the tent be pitched in their area – marked by great singing, deliverance, preaching and the moving of the Holy Ghost. The benches were made of board, and the dust which was very high, especially during the summer season, soon became unbearable. Our Pastor would not have his children further exposed to the different elements of the weather much longer and so, soon after, there was a ground breaking for what would be a permanent place of worship. The first phase of the building, which was the downstairs, was church for a number of years. Although it was small and very hot, the brethren felt as if they had reached heaven as it was equipped with proper chairs and the dust was a thing of the past. As the numbers climbed however, late comers soon experienced great difficulty finding a seat.
Further construction of the Temple continued despite the limited funds and resources. Thanks to the individuals, churches and organizations, including the United Way of Jamaica, which gave support in whatever way was possible. Today, the beautiful edifice we now occupy is a witness to the sweat and hard labor of a lot of our members and many others who did not live to see it in its glorious form. May their souls rest in peace! To date, the building remains the largest Church of God 7th Day in North East, St Elizabeth, and is used to serve its members, the community and its environs through programmes such as feeding the elderly and shut in, baby dedications, weddings, funeral services, back to school treats for children, among others. It has and will continue to give birth and reach out to all, as its mission remains “to save souls in preparation for the return of Christ, to keep the peace of the community and to bring deliverance and rehabilitation to those affected by the enemy.”
Truly, we have come this far by faith leaning on the Lord! It is indeed a blessing and honor for us to continue to bask in its existence, as God continues to elevate us and lead us to a higher and deeper place in Him.
TO GOD BE THE GLORY, GREAT THINGS HE HATH DONE!