Transformed by Letters of Rebuke…and Love

22 Feb 2019 | Annette Walwyn Michael


The Women’s Ministry Revival, February 3-9, 2019 at Central Church, St. Croix, brought the church together for spiritual in-reach before the out-reach planned for February 15- March 2, 2019. Six young female speakers delivered rousing messages inspired by the letters to the churches in Revelation. As presented, the letters seemed to have been written for Central Church only—such was the power of each message.

On Sunday night, Vernell McSween, an insurance representative, presented the topic, “Glorious Church, Guaranteed Victory,” an introduction to the series. Central Church was challenged to expect a breakthrough during this week of revival. Sis. McSween reminded us of Ellen G. White’s counsel that enfeebled as it may seem, the church is indeed God’s glorious church, and victory is guaranteed (Christian Service, 13).

Womens ministry revival

On Monday, Benita Randolph, a nurse, challenged the church with “The Power of the Name.” From the letter to the church at Sardis, she asked the question, “What is in a name? Your name, my name, may not be such a big deal, but when we take the name ‘Christian’ it is a big deal.” And for those not living up to that name, God has some strong words for us: “Shape up or I will spit you out of my mouth” (Revelation 3: 16).

Dr. Verleen McSween, a university professor, encouraged the church on Tuesday night to “let brotherly love continue,” from the letter to the church at Philadelphia. She suggested that when brotherly love is demonstrated, with love for each other and love for God, victory is guaranteed. She then presented practical steps to nurture love and fellowship within the Christian community. 

On Wednesday night, Sigourney Dorsey, using the letter to the church at Ephesus, put forth another tough question and some challenges: “Where is [our] first love? Remember when we first knew the Lord how we were on fire for Him? Remember how we loved and cared for each other? Jesus is urging us to come back to that place and rekindle the fire.”

Orresteen Morris, an early-child educator, whose Biblical text was the letter to the church in Thyatira, pleaded with the congregation on Friday night to “hold on.” Even when we can’t figure it out, “faith it out” because “the battle is not ours, it’s the Lord’s.” She pointed out the downturn in church attendance as an example and encouraged the members to hold on, in spite of this. 

On Sabbath morning, in the final presentation of the series, Elder Lazarine Alfred gleaned from the letter to the church in Laodicea. She revealed the background to the letter, the lukewarmness of the water in the city as a reflection of the condition of the church not only in Laodicea but today. Christ sent a rebuke to this church, and Elder Alfred pointed out that “to rebuke is to love.” She declared, “Central, we are in the Laodicean Church era.” She suggested that God believes in “tough love” and urged the church to “step up, stand out, [and] be counted.” 

“We had an awesome week, and God is saying to us today that we are going to make it,” commented the Women’s Ministry Leader of the church, Ursula Theophilus.  She added, “God is telling us, ‘just stand back and let me fight this battle for you,’ because the giant in front of us is never bigger than the God beside us.”

Pastor Timothy Leito, the youth pastor-intern, considered this week of revival an “impeccable moment with God,” and Pastor Hesketh Matthew, Advisor to the President for Evangelism, commented, “Listening to the powerful female presenters this week convinced me that we made the right choice of a speaker for the upcoming evangelistic series.” This speaker is a lady, Sister Gerene Joseph, Educational Director of the North Caribbean Conference.

The church has now moved from revival mode to crusade mode, transformed as we prepare for the evangelistic series, “Hope in Jesus,” which begins on Friday night, February 15, 2019, at 7:00 p.m. Central Church is one of about thirty sites conference-wide, where the gospel will be presented. 

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