May 19, 2017

“Evangelist Cop” Baptizes Colleague in Jamaica

Nigel Coke, Inter-American Division News

Police Corporal Wayne Bartley, who serves as a church elder in the Ocho Ríos Seventh-day Adventist Church in St. Ann, Jamaica, allowed the Holy Spirit to use him to “spiritually arrest” one of his colleagues and five other individuals during an evangelistic series he conducted recently.

Bartley, who has been in the Jamaica Constabulary Force for the past fourteen years, believes that while he works to keep law and order in the country, he has a commitment to God to rescue persons from the clutches of sin and point them to Jesus Christ.

“I always tell persons that I am a police officer by profession, but also a preacher by conviction and that’s why I take time out to do the work of evangelism,” said Bartley, who has been an ordained church elder for the past ten years.

Police Corporal Wayne Bartley and Detective Claudine Johnson, who was baptized by Bartley in March. [Photo: Chavar Lewis]

“I am inspired to try and balance the lost/saved equation because it is said that there are more people that will be lost than who will be saved,” said Bartley, who was given the opportunity to baptize on March 11. On that day, church elders in the North Jamaica and other conferences church regions were given the opportunity to baptize persons whom they have worked with and studied the Bible. The activity is part of the “Lord Transform Me Baptism Sabbath,” an initiative of the Adventist Church in Inter-America that seeks to involve active members to fulfill the mission of the church by transforming lives through the power of the Holy Spirit, Bible study, and daily prayer.

Among the six persons baptized is one Bartley’s colleagues, Detective Constable Claudine Johnson, something which he described as a joyful occasion.

“Words cannot express [what I feel]. It was a joyful occasion because police are the last set of people considered to be Christian,” said Bartley. It is actually considered by many as a doomed profession, he added. “They share the notion that you cannot be a Christian and a police officer.”

Officer Johnson’s baptism opened the eyes of many individuals and other colleagues, said Bartley. “Johnson received many commendations from senior officers, and some of my colleagues are now visiting churches because of my influence, and the fact that someone else from among us got baptized.”

Getting baptized was not part of her plans that day, said Johnson, who had been attending the Ocho Ríos Adventist Church for some time. “When he did the altar call, I felt impressed and decided to give my life to Christ then,” said Johnson. Now she is very determined to serve the Lord and appreciates the fact that though her job falls into the category of essential services, her superiors do their best to ensure that she gets the Sabbath off to attend church.

Bartley, who resides in the northern part of Jamaica, has been doing evangelistic campaigns since 2001 and has not only focused on his church and the surrounding community but has also held evangelistic outreach activities in the western and northeastern parts of the country. So far, his ministry has led more than 200 people to accept Jesus and join the Seventh-day Adventist Church.