Ebenezer Congregation

Ebenezer Methodist Congregation

The Work of the Church in the Community from 1800s to Present
Prepared by: Bro. Julien Jeremy, Congregational Steward
March 2010

This congregation has played a pivotal role in ensuring that the message of the Methodist had taken root in this part of the country. As any new and emerging entity, Ebenezer was not without its share of trails and uncertainty. Amidst those trials however, our pioneers persevered and remained focused on the mission, setting the foundation and blazing the trial for those who were to follow.

As Dominica celebrates 223 years of Methodism, we at Ebenezer can reflect with pride on the unwavering efforts of our early Methodists. Since as a rule, no history is ever complete, because every moment of it had never been captured, the same can be said of the pioneers of this august body. All not all of their deeds were recorded of their deeds were not recorded; hence they cannot be reported. However, this article will attempt to capture some highlights of the work of the church.

The first Methodist Chapel in Wesley was established in the 1800’s at La Soie Point with pioneers such as John Cooke and Aaron Dunstan. As time passed and people relocated to settle in Wesley proper, there was need to relocate the Chapel within closer proximity to its members and followers and so the old Ebenezer was built to accommodate a growing membership. The building in those days was of wood and shingle roof. Pioneers such as John Cooke, Aaron Dunstan, Steddy Robin, James Henry, Joseph & Elsie Harry and Nathan Burnette worshipped comfortably under kerosene lamps and flambo, and yes they served God with pride.

As Methodism took root in the village there was need for yet another expansion, and so in 1932, the present chapel was built. The early Methodist had a burning desire to spread the message of Christ and so they took pride in doing so. These are some of the forerunners, who served in the various offices of the church.

Local Preachers

  • Aaron Dunstan
  • James Dunstan
  • James Henry
  • Morgan Micheson Greenaway

These founding members provided invaluable support in establishing the church: Monty Telemaque, Joshua Celestine, Jack James, Nathan Burnette, and Osman Richards


  • Jones Telemaque
  • Nathan Burnette

Class Leaders

  • Joseph Harry
  • Elsie Harry
  • Ethel Andrew (Ma Hutsie)
  •  Milda Andrew
  • Lemuel & Alexia Burnette (Lemmie & Ma Lemmie)

Junior Class Leaders

Keren “Da Ninny” Hapock Dustan (she would have a recitation for every child on every occasion.)

Sunday School Teachers and Superintendents

  • James Henry
  • Morgan Greenaway
  • Thomas Robin
  • Burley Williams
  • Evans Dodds
  • Quammie Greenaway
  • Keren “Da Ninny” Hapock Dustan


  • John Cooke
  • Steddy Robin
  • Elisha Andrew
  • Everlyn Wilson
  • Rosanna Richards
  • Grethel Dodds
  • Rueben Telemaque
  • Arnold Telemaque

The Boys Brigade Company was established at Ebenezer in 1943 under the leadership of Daniel Durban, Adulphus Robin, Jackson Phillip and Burley Williams.

Among the first Ministers to serve here were:

  • Reverend Barrette
  • Rev. Byron
  • Rev. Bedford
  • Rev. Squire
  • Rev. Thompson from 1932

Ebenezer continued to progress not only in membership but in the improvement of the physical structure of the chapel; and so in 1955 the shingle roof was replaced with galvanized sheeting. While some denominations were in their infancy and recruiting members, Ebenezer recorded the single largest reception of confirmed Methodist on 15th December 1957 where 57 new members were confirmed. Persons like Bro Keith Joseph and Sis. Onah Celestine were members of that class.

The membership of the congregation peaked at 400 practicing Methodists in the mid 1970's and so the need for further expansion was imminent; hence the final expansion to the building in 1976.

This institution has produced farmers, jurist, politicians, lawyers, educators, medical professionals, financial experts, musicians, and entrepreneurs. So there's no question that it has fulfilled its civic responsibilities. In light of the true calling of the church, Ebenezer is proud to have produced the following:

Six Ministers of the Gospel

  • Rev. Rueben Telemaque
  • Rev. Dr. J. Evans Dodds
  • Rev. James Timothy
  • Rev. Keith Lewis
  • Rev. Williams Benjamin
  • Rev. Elkanah Edwards

Ten Local Preachers

  • Aaron Dunstan
  • James Henry
  • James Dunstan
  • Quammie Greenaway
  • Arnold Telemaque
  • Georgina St. John Charles
  • Bentley Augustine
  • Emile Thomas
  • Thomas Robin
  • June Joseph

Pioneers of the Choir

  • Miss Ena Dunstan
  • Saywell Timothy
  • Jones Telemaque
  • Mary Telemaque
  • Vinolia James (Ma Jacko)
  • Ethel Andrew (Ma Hutsie)
  • Viola Joseph
  • Nona Telemaque
  • Gwendolyn Christmas
  • Elgin Edwards
  • Quammie Greenaway (Choir master)
  • Arnold Telemaque (Choir master)

Pioneers of the Women's League

The Women's League was established in 1946 by Miss Emmanuel, a Methodist Woman from Roseau. The objective was to deepen Women's interest in the life of the church and to create an awareness of bonding church and community. Here are the names of the various presidents in descending order.

  • Ethel Andrew (Ma Hutsie)
  • Gwendolyn Christmas (Ma Gwen)
  • Izerena Turney
  • Iris Greenaway
  • Olivette Telemaque

Prominent founding members

  • Dolcena Dodds
  • Dolsie Africa
  • Ruth Destouche
  • Norene Burnette
  • Lucricia Africa
  • Inid Celestine
  • Eunida Telemaque

Pioneers of the Girls’ Brigade

This Organization started under the leadership of Ms Cybil and Ms Carmie. Other leaders followed:

  • Veron Edwards Dodds
  • Miranda Thomas Honoré
  • June Joseph
  • Georgina St. John Charles
  • Carlotta Turney Dodds

Pioneers of the Men's Fellowship

  • Francis Alexander
  • Quammie Greenaway
  • Jones Telemaque
  • Acres O'Brien
  • Manasseh Burnette
  • Jacob Abel
  • Titus Dodds
  • Edward Sebastian
  • Atchison Christmas
  • Phillip Titre

This pillar of the church was established in the 1960's under the influence of Mr. Clifford Henry of Marigot who inspired and encouraged the men of Ebenezer to form their men's organization, the first president was   Mr. Francis Alexander (deceased).

Pioneers of the Boys' Brigade

This uniformed group was established at Ebenezer in 1943 under the leadership of Daniel Durban.

  • Adulphus Robin
  • Jackson Phillip
  • Burley Williams
  • Chadwick Edwards
  • Quammie Greenaway
  •  Alban Henry
  • Rodney Edwards
  • Jolly Phillip

As migration, employment responsibilities and other factors set in it impeded on the commitment of these pioneers and the organization went into a hiatus for a few years. Observing the void that this gap had created the company was reorganized in 1953 under the leadership of Rawle Bristol, Arnold Telemaque, William Ducreay, Everson Edwards and Onude Joseph.

Life Boy

There was a need for discipline and organization among the younger boys of the congregation in those days; it was out of that desire that Mr. Amos Dodds took up the responsibility to lead that group for a very long time. Many of our present day adults are products of his stewardship and teaching. His name will forever be etched in the annals of Ebenezer's history.

In 1976 when the chapel was being extended the true mettle of its members was put to the test, as there was need to procure timber for use on the roof. We would commit a cardinal sin if we did not recognize the efforts of the men who braved rain, thunder and lightening on the heights of Sympa to ensure that timber was provided.

These men placed church before family on some occasion:

  • Jonathan Dodds
  • Jones Telemaque
  • Atchison Christmas
  • Emille Thomas
  • Phillippe Titre
  • Francis Alexander
  • Edward Sebastian
  • Horatins Christmas
  • Osman Richards
  • Manasseh Burnette

The Ebenezer Methodist Church has stood the test of time and circumstances throughout the years. It stands as a beacon to the community not just because it is strategically located on a hill, but for the indelible and positive impact it has made in this community. Truly, when the history of Wesley will be written, it would be sacrilege to exclude or overlook the contribution of such a venerable institution.

We extend deepest gratitude to all those who provided much needed information towards making this exercise possible; Bro. Arnold Telemaque, Sis. Ruth Destouche, Bro. Keith Joseph, Bro. Hobbs St. John, Sis. Leona James and Sis. Brenda Baptiste. Special thanks to Bro. Kellorn Magloire for typing and printing this article free of charge.

May God's Providence be yours.