The president of Guyana attended a special rededication service at a Seventh-day Adventist church in the capital city of Georgetown on March 19, as part of a week-long celebration of the 130th anniversary of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the country.
During the service at the refurbished Central Seventh-day Adventist Church, President David Granger addressed members and visitors, urging them to help strengthen the institution of the family, reported the Ministry of the Presidency of the South-American nation.
“The family is the cradle of life; the citadel of safety and the classroom of the culture of loving, sharing and forgiving,” said Granger during his address. “Happy families are the foundation of a happy nation. Happy families will lead to happy communities; happy communities will lead to strong regions and strong regions will build a strong nation,” he said.
Granger said that to strengthen families, men need to recognize and understand their responsibilities, and women need to be treated as equals.
“Men must provide for their children; they must become the cornerstones of happy homes,” said the president. “Men can help to raise happy families by showing respect and responsibility towards their wives and their children.”
The president also congratulated the Guyana Conference of Seventh-day Adventists for the 130 years of Adventist presence in the country, as he commended the determination and dedication of its pioneers and a long, consistent history of service of the denomination in Guyana. “The success of the Guyana Conference of Seventh-day Adventists is attributable to its reputation, not only of preaching the Word but also by the the practice of good works,” said Granger.
Adventist teachings reached Guyana when in 1883, the International Tract and Missionary Society began shipping religious literature to what was then called British Guiana. The rededicated Central Seventh-day Adventist Church in Georgetown, the first in the country, was established in 1887. Currently, there are almost 64,000 Seventh-day Adventist baptized members in Guyana, who meet in 212 churches and congregations.
“Churches are essential to social cohesion and family-hood.”
In reacting to Granger’s message, the president of the Guyana Conference Richard James commended the Guyana president for his efforts to unite the citizens of the nation and assured him that members are praying for his initiatives. “We would like the president to know that we are praying that he will continue to keep the torch of unity and integration burning brilliantly in this dear land of Guyana,” James said.
The Ministry of the Presidency also reported that the president’s push for family values and the Adventist leader’s words come at a time when the national government has established a Ministry of Social Cohesion, which looks to “improve race relations and to bring about greater equality among all Guyanese,” a historically multicultural society.
Within this context, Granger was clear about the major role churches need to play in the nation’s ongoing quest towards national unity. “Churches are essential to social cohesion and family-hood,” he said.
Libna Stevens contributed to this story.