The Shortwood Seventh-day Adventist Church had its inception in January 1945. Initially a Bible Study and then a Branch Sabbath School conducted on the premises of the Barbican Baptist Church. The membership consisted of nine (9) adults and several children, some of whom were from the barbican Baptist Church. The first pastor was R.E. Gibson who was the Business manager at the Andrews Memorial Hospital and the Elders were Campbell and Douglas, Douglas was from the North Street Seventh-day Adventist Church.
The young Church had its first baptism on Sunday, March 31, 1945 and nine (9) persons were baptized including Bro. Altamon Blake.
The little company of believers was soon to be relocated to Sis. E. Taylor’s home at 127 Barbican Road, Kingston 8 and not very long afterwards they again had to be removed, so they rented premises from Mr. Gerald Dunn at 106 Barbican Road.
Shortly after, a mass baptism was held at North Street Seventh-day Adventist Church where sixty (60) persons were baptized. Nine (9) persons from this baptism became members of the Barbican Company including Rittie Smith, Bro. J. Samuels, Georgia Whyte, Cyril McKnight, Alvira Blake and others.
A Tent Crusade conducted by Pastor D.V. Pond at the intersection of Shortwood Road and Lady Huggins Avenue saw many persons giving their lives to Jesus. At the completion of the Crusade the brethren form the Barbican Company and those from the recent Crusade merged and then removed to the premises of 4 Shortwood Road belonging to Mrs. Thompson. There was already and existing structure, so the brethren rented it for £4 monthly. The membership grew exceedingly as a result of the Crusade other members added included the: Bryce’s family, the Haughton’s family, Bro. McDonald and Bro. Edwin Henry. There was difficulty however, in financing the monthly rental installment, as a result, notice was served to vacate the premises. The brethren began to look for other suitable place to house the children of God. The problem of finding somewhere suitable for the children of God did not dampen their spirits. They fasted and prayed even more. One Mr. Gray offered to purchase the property at 10 Grants Pen Road, Kingston 8. He however, wanted to erect a bar at the front of the premises and the Church at the back. This offer was made to the brethren; hence a Church Board meeting was convened. After due deliberation the brethren seemed to have no other option than to accept the offer to Mr. Gray, so, they partially agreed. Sis. Bryce who had a hearing impediment inquired of the brethren what was the Board’s decision. She was told, but due to the impediment she replied, “God a suh oonu slack”. The brethren being very alarmed at her comment immediately adjourned the meeting without reaching a decision.
God had something special in store fro his faithful children. Pastor W.U. Campbell heard of the brethrens plight and had a heart of compassion. He therefore purchased the property, sub-divided it and gave the brethren a portion and the rest being sold to the Carter’s family.
In 1956 a beautiful 16’ x 30’ structure was built which housed the believers of God. There was great financial constraint, but nevertheless, the faithful brethren continued to labour relentlessly and they made tremendous sacrifice and petitioned the throne of God for His intervention and God answered their prayers.
Evangelism was always in the minds of the brethren so Bros. Douglas and Blake launched out with their Bible Study. This study grew into a Branch Sabbath School, and finally into a Sabbath School and from this gathering Hope Tavern was born (also known as Hope). Bro. Blake started a second company and this is now the Jack’s Hill Church. Through the instrumentality of Bro. R. Webster and Bro. V. Graham the Whitehall Church was organized.
Little Angels’ Basic School
Problems existed for duration of 15 consecutive years re.: the organization of a school. Many plans and ideas were submitted to the Church but on each occasion the plans were rejected. To expedite matters, a survey was conducted and members within the Church anticipated the day when the school would be a reality. Finally, this item was presented to the Church and was unanimously accepted by all. As a result, the Little Angels’ Basic School had its inception in September 1978 with an enrolment of thirty (30) students and three (3 dedicated loving teachers: Mrs. Gloria Graham, Ms. Marjorie Corinthan and Mrs. Elaine Jackson-Saunders.
The initial fee was $1.50 weekly. The children were always neatly dressed in their navy-blue tunic. The principal was Mrs. Gloria Graham. Not very long afterwards an evening school was organized and many people supported this great effort. As a result of the evening school and its high standards Ms. Franklyn and Ms. Edwards were baptized.