Let’s learn lessons of the past

Speaking to scores of Baptists at the National Congress of Incorporated Baptist Organisations of TT at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, Miguel said the day called for remembrance of the past. “Learn your lessons well and never forget them,” she admonished.

She warned them not to become preoccupied with unimportant and nonessential matters which can “bring to nought the gains of the struggles of those who went before.”

Miguel said in the early days of the Spiritual Baptist movement, the members worked long and hard to make a contribution. “They were a dynamic, magnetic cohesion as they worked together for a common goal.”

Miguel said with the “old guard incapacitated” there may be those who felt the time had come to “relax” and “take a breather to enjoy the fruits of their labour” and “do just enough to keep the faithful comfortable”.

“Is that what you really want?” she asked the crowd.

Miguel said growth of the Spiritual Baptist faith required paying attention to attitudes, leadership and outreach.

“If you want your movement to grow you must have an expectancy, an attitude of joyful excitement for what God is doing and will do through you.”

She said if the Spiritual Baptist leaders wanted to shape TT and earn the respect of their people they had to be purposeful. Miguel said as Baptists moved onward they had to be people with vision and determination.

Minister of Culture and Gender Affairs Joan Yuille-Williams brought greetings on behalf of Prime Minister Patrick Manning and said the People’s National Movement had a “long association” with the Baptists. She said the Baptist struggle was a struggle to serve God in their own way and a struggle for self-determination. Yuille-Williams said the country was proud of the struggle.

Outlining the history of slavery and the Spiritual Baptists, Yuille-Williams said while some institutions were associated with subjugation and opposition, “the Baptist faith can only be associated with the struggle for freedom and equality.” She commended the work done by the Baptists in communities and said the Government was willing to work with them.

Executive Chairman of the Solid Waste Management Company Ltd, Ray Brathwaite, a bishop in the Congress said it was a “myth” that Baptists were not united. He said the Congress was a united body representing eight active dioceses.

In attendance at the event was a delegation of Baptists from St Vincent, students from the Pacific Lutheran University and a representative from the South African High Commission.


"Let’s learn lessons of the past"

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