Zion Congregation

Zion Methodist Church
By Mrs. Raymond James and Ms. Delcie Charles

The current structure of the Marigot Methodist Church was built in 1934 under the leadership of Reverend W. Barrette.  During the construction phase, members of the Church helped by carrying sand and stones from the sea shore during moonlit nights. In 1959 the building was expanded by Reverend Muffet to accommodate an increase in membership and dedicated by Reverend Barrette who had returned to do so.

During the initial stages of the life of the Church, assigned Ministers lived in what is still being referred to as the Mission House. The first Mission House was built out of wood. The present Mission House is the third that was built.

The Marigot Methodist Church has experienced the work of many Ministers of foreign backgrounds; many of whom included Reverends Bedford, Henry, Dash, Dorson, Wilson, Gumbs, Hodge, Worrel, Niles, Barrow, and Reverend Mason. Among the many Ministers who served at the Church, there were only two females, Reverend Lake and Reverend Meade. The church was fortunate to have produced two Ministers from among its local population, Reverend Telford Mathew and Reverend Jennifer Joseph.

With a mission of fulfilling God’s work, several Local Preachers such as Mr. Kelson Thomas, Ms. Mary Pascal, Mr. Studley Williams, Ms. Eugene Samuel, Mr. Unsworth Andrew, and Mr. Wills Strathmore Stevens emerged. Mr. Stevens was not only a Local Preacher but served also as the Organist and Choir Leader until he was replaced by Mr. Skeith Humphreys.  Mr. Studley Williams was responsible for the Sunday School classes as well.

During the early years of the Church there was no electricity. Members came from as far as North End to attend Service and Prayer Meetings. Some came with bottles of water to wash their feet outside of the Church building after having travelled on poor roads. The elderly people can be remembered as being very spiritual and very good at praying.

In spite of some of the challenges faced by the Church, the congregation still maintained its vibrancy. Several organizations were established within the Church; some of which are still in existence today. The Boys Scout, for example, was introduced by Reverend Barrette and the Boys Brigade by Reverend Bedford. The Women’s League and the Girls Brigade came about as a result of the work of Sister Gladis Cook between 1944 and 1945.

Sanky singing, social evenings, outings and visits to the elderly were just some of the activities members of the Church undertook. A “Meals on Feet” programme was also organized whereby meals were prepared and made available to the less able and less fortunate members of the community.

Sunday School classes formed an integral part of the life of the Church. Sunday School teachings set the religious foundation for the young. Prayer Meetings were held every Monday and then changed to being conducted every Tuesday. Bible study was given much priority as well. There used to be what was called “Leaders Meeting” followed by “Class Meeting” on a regular basis. This was encouraged so as to maintain a closer contact between class leaders and the members of their class.

Whit Monday and May Day were also some of the favorite past times of Church members and non-members alike. In celebration of those days, fairs would be held on the Church grounds. There would be fun activities and the sale of various food, household and other items. Many would turn out to enjoy some May Pole dancing and competitive cricket matches. More so, they enjoyed looking at the Women’s League Cricket Team compete.

The Marigot Methodist Church has evolved over the years. Like any other institution, it has experienced some good old days and some challenging ones, but, thanks to God that we are able to reminisce some of the good encounters we have shared as a unified body. With God’s grace we look forward to even better days.