Eight Mile Rock Seventh-day Adventists Church
On a beautiful summer Sunday afternoon of August 27th, 1978 at 3:00pm the Eight Mile Rock Seventh-day Adventist Church was dedicated to the honor and glory of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. This magnificent edifice was dedicated with an aim to preach the everlasting gospel to all the world in this generation, and win souls to Jesus Christ. As members of the Remnant Church, we believe that the message of Revelation 14:6-12 should be taken seriously, and each member is to be God’s messenger in these last days of earth’s history.
At the time of dedication Pastor N. E. Scavella was the pastor; other Pastors included Cortlen Andersen (1974-1977), D. L. Francis (1972-1974), T. J. Modell (1969-1971), and T. W. Thompson (1965-1968). The Head Elder George A. Palmer, (deceased) proclaimed that this was an occasion of victory born of faith, service, sacrifice and dedication in the work of the Lord.
It was in 1963, Brother and Sister Headmond Henry from Jamaica, began conducting a Branch Sabbath School in their home, which included a few members of the West End Church.
As the believers in the area grew in number, a Lodge Hall was rented, in which to house them; however, soon they were forced to find refuge in the home of Sister Olga Claude (now deceased) in the Eight Mile Rock community.
In March of 1967, Pastor S. N. McKinney conducted an Evangelistic Crusade in Eight Mile Rock, and from those baptized, a Company was organized. These baptized members continued to worship under the Tent for about a year. Later, the church was organized with sixty-four members and was soon moved to the rented hall on the premises of St. Pauls’s Methodist School in Freeport.
During this time, the present property was purchased for $10,000, and soon after, construction began. By 1969, the building was enclosed and worship was conducted there for the members of the surrounding areas of Freeport and Eight Mile Rock.
From this small beginning in 1963, the membership grew to over 215, at which time the church as divided, organizing the Freeport Church on June 16th, 1971. However, the remaining members continued to carry on the work with a group of a little more than one hundred. Needless-to-say, many of the leading members transferred their membership to become members of the new Freeport Church.
Another factor which reduced the membership considerably, was the migration of expatriates, who left the island after jobs became unavailable. Despite this fact, there were those who stood by and did their best to carry on the work of the Lord.
It was dedication and sacrifice that brought this Edifice into being, for at times during the fund raising drives the membership would turn in on a Sabbath an average of $800.00 per week. It was estimated that about $60,000.00 was raised from 1968-1971.
During this time most of the work done on the building was paid for in cash and very little, if any free labour was donated by the membership. In 1970 a group of missionaries from the United States, known as the “Maranatha Group,” came down and donated their time and labour skill to this cause.
The Bahamas Conference advanced the first ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00) for the land purchase and assisted at other stages of the building, with an amount equal to the first.
A few of the construction firms in Freeport donated plumbing and other building materials.
In the completion stages of this Edifice, most of the members united their personal labour and means to help finish the work begun ten years prior to the dedication service.
Particular mention is due to Pastor T. W. Thompson, who inspired the brethren to build a house to the glory of God. The local leadership did much in fund-raising, and today we praise God for all that has been done to build an Edifice where He can meet with His people.
Our hope and prayer is that many may find Christ within these walls of the Eight Mile Rock Seventh-day Adventist Church.
As it was in July 16-23 at a Youth Camp in 1978, presently the youth make up a larger part of our church membership. Many of them are engaged in almost every phase of church work like participating in Sabbath School programs to Bible Study and youth programs.
Special mentioned guests at the time Our Church was dedicated were Pastor R. Henry, Pastor H. A. Roach and the Hon. H. Bowen M.P. for West End and Bimini. Other participants on the program were Bro. C. Thompson of the Freeport Church, Elder A. Ferguson of the Shiloh Church, Elder P. Sturrup (deceased), Sis. L. Been, Elder G. Palmer (deceased) and Sis. E. Green/Gibson.
Since then Pastors of the Church included:-
Pastor M. A. Smith
Pastor E. B. Tinker
Pastor Dr. M. Toote
Pastor R. V. Bain
Pastor H. R. Moncur
Pastor D. P. Sturrup (Current Pastor)
Some of Pioneers included:-
Bro. Anthony Ferguson
Bro. Walter Been
Bro. Vernal Butler - Deceased
Sister Dolly Pople
Sister Agatha Henry
Sister Princess Jones/Dean - Deceased
Sister Louise Been
Sister Annis Palmer - Deceased
Sister Era Gibson
Sister Violet Patrick
Sister Marion Hall - Deceased
Sister Eliza Hinson - Deceased
Elder George Palmer - Deceased
Sister Olga Claude - Deceased
Sister Pearl McKenzie - Deceased