LA HORQUETTA/TALPARO MP Foster Cummings called for Baptists to look beyond political affiliations on Thursday night, as he hosted members of the faith in a celebration of Spiritual Baptist Liberation Day, which will be observed on March 30.
“Politics must not divide us,” Cummings said. “This is not about PNM and UNC. This is about the Spiritual Baptist faith.
“This year would mark 70 years since the repeal of that draconian legislation that prohibited the Spiritual Shouter Baptists from practising their faith. There was a time where worshipping as a Spiritual Baptist was a criminal offence. There is no other religion in the country that went through that.”
In his address he paid a special thanks to Archbishop Barbara Gray-Burke, who petitioned the government for the holiday to observe the day the law against the Shouter Baptists was repealed. In 1995 they were granted the holiday.
In 2019 the Prime Minister announced that state lands would be granted to the Spiritual Baptist community for a cathedral and burial grounds.
Burke, addressing the congregation, said she was thankful the land was granted and prayed that the Baptists face no obstruction in getting the church, but said she wanted a school.
“So long I am hearing about a cathedral. If you all don’t give the people the cathedral, I will be fighting for a secondary school,” she said. “I will be coming back to make noise for a secondary school. So hurry up.”