Tobago Baptists preparing for Liberation Day

Tobago United Spiritual Baptist Assembly members worship through song and dance at Spiritual Shouter Baptist Liberation Day 2022. FILE PHOTO -
Tobago United Spiritual Baptist Assembly members worship through song and dance at Spiritual Shouter Baptist Liberation Day 2022. FILE PHOTO -

TOBAGO’S Spiritual/Shouter Baptists are preparing for the Liberation Day observance on March 30.

Spiritual/Shouter Baptist Liberation Day, which was declared a national holiday in 1996 by the former Basdeo Panday-led UNC government, commemorates the repeal of the 1917 Shouter Prohibition Ordinance that prohibited the activities of the Baptist faith.

TT is the only country in the world that celebrates a public holiday for the Spiritual Baptist faith.

In an interview on Tuesday, Elect Lady Lydmoy Brebnor-Dillon, of the Tobago United Spiritual Baptist Assembly, told Newsday Baptists are in “preparation mode.”

She said their celebration event, titled Let Us Give Thanks Unto The Most High God, begins with a 9am march from Orange Hill, on the Claude Noel Highway, to the Baptists’ incomplete, multi-purpose facility at Signal Hill. The formal celebration takes place there from 10am.

THA Chief Secretary Farley Augustine, Minority Leader Kelvon Morris and head of the Tobago United Spiritual Baptist Assembly Bishop John Carrington are expected to address celebrants.

Brebnor-Dillon’s husband, Bishop Mural Dillon, is expected to bring welcome remarks.

“There will be our usual rejoicing, singing, praying with greetings from other religious organisations and other dioceses in Tobago,” she said.

At a Baptist Liberation Day service at the Mt Bethel Spiritual Baptist Cathedral, Pump Mill, Scarborough, last year, Augustine told celebrants his administration was committed to helping the island’s Spiritual Baptists complete their long-awaited multi-purpose facility.

In 2006, the former THA administration gave the Spiritual Baptists two acres of land, west of the army camp, to construct the facility.

Portions of the facility have already been built but the structure is still far from being completed.

The government’s ban on non-essential activity at the height of the covid19 pandemic also prevented further construction on the project from being undertaken.

The Baptists had written to the Augustine-led THA asking for assistance to complete the structure.

“I want to say to you that the task of rebuilding is difficult, but you must. Your property at Signal Hill is long outstanding. And so, I received your letter in good faith asking for us to meet. And meet we shall. I give you that commitment,” Augustine had said.

At that time, however, he could not say how much the THA would contribute towards the facility’s construction.

“Not that I can quantify that commitment to you. But I am giving you that commitment that we will work with you in rebuilding your temple.”

Dillon said on Tuesday no additional work has been undertaken on the project.

“With the covid everything was shut down.”

She urged Baptists to come out to the celebration.


"Tobago Baptists preparing for Liberation Day"

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