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Thursday 20 September 2018
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Joyful noise at Eddie Hart Grounds

Blessings: Members of Spiritual Baptist churches greet each other with offerings of water and flowers at the the National Congress of Incorporated Bapatist Organisations of TT's Liberation Day celebrations at Eddie Hart Grounds, Tacarigua yesterday. PHOTOS BY SUREASH CHOLAI

It was truly a celebration yesterday as members of The National Congress of Incorporated Baptist Organisations in the Republic of TT gathered to commemorate the Spiritual Baptist holiday at the Eddie Hart Grounds in Tacarigua.

There over 200 worshippers praised God in song, with messages of unity and thanks for freedom of worship interspersed. The celebration began with a greeting ceremony with members of churches from north and south Trinidad standing and singing at opposite ends of the car park. Led by bishops, deacons and ministers, they slowly moved towards each other, singing praises, ringing bells, and playing drums, chac chac and tambourines.

When the members of Mt Zion Spiritual Baptist Church, St Francis Spiritual Baptist Cathedral, Mount Bethel Spiritual Baptist Church, Isaiah Temple Spiritual Baptist Church and others met, the real celebrating began. They began to sing the same songs, dance, pay libations of water, flowers, grains and peas as a blessing and consecration of the earth, and read scriptures from the bible.

In addition to local Spiritual Baptist leaders, there were visitors from the United States, and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Power rod: Bishop Victor Geoffrey, left, and Marlon Lee Osuna along with other leaders "energise" a shepherd's rod at the National Congress of Incorporated Baptist Organisations of TT's Spiritual Shouter Baptist Liberation Day celebrations at Eddie Hart Grounds, Tacarigua yesterday.

Saboto Caesar, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Rural Transformation, Industry and Labour of St Vincent and the Grenadines, said it was an honour and a spiritual pleasure to be in TT with a delegation of Spiritual Baptist from his country.

He said they intended to visit various churches in TT and were working towards organising similar celebrations in 2019.

“We are one Caribbean. We are one people, and we are happy to join with you on your religious journey as you work towards being an agent of change in this Caribbean.”

Asked why his delegation decided to participate in TT’s celebrations, he said, “There is a close connection between Trinidad and Tobago and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

There are many Vincentians living here. We have a lot of family members who came here many years ago, and we continue to have that partnership.”

Also visiting from St Vincent was its former minister of culture, and Speaker of the OECS House of Assembly, Rene Baptiste. She said celebrations in her country was on a much smaller scale with a few different rituals because the Baptists came from different tribes, but the same spirit was involved.


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