ST. MARY’S TABERNACLE HISTORY
It was in Wood Park that Bro. Dennis heard the gospel being preached by Bro. Small, a Sabbath School Superintendent. Bro. Dennis gladly received the word and was baptised by Bishop Chase. During that time Deacon Clark had a gathering at Barkley’s Town which Bro. Dennis visited. Deacon Clark took the gathering to Guys Hill after which he relocated to Richmond.
This meant that the closest church to Bro. Dennis was in Linstead. He was zealous of the gospel, and he did not hesitate to go to Linstead on Sabbaths. At times not even having a drive, he walked. This was a difficult task, but he did it with joy. He was eager to learn all he could about the gospel of Jesus Christ. The more he learned, the more he believe and he felt the need to share the good news of the kingdom with others. Many believed and were taken to Bishop Chase to be baptised.
Bishop Chase saw Bro. Dennis’ zeal and determination and the Lord instructed him to ordain him to the gospel ministry. So it was that Bro. Dennis was ordained, Elder Dennis and sent to Carron Hall. He began with about fifteen members. However, this field proved unprofitable and Bishop Chase instructed him to “Go where the Spirit leads you”.
Elder Dennis, along with four of the members from Carron Hall moved on to Retreat. Like Job, he was tested. Sister Dennis, his wife, decided that she was not going to Retreat because they had no material substance there. So she left him for Kingston. Knowing that God had sent him to this field, Elder Dennis moved on in faith. He rented an apartment and kept the Sabbath service there. The first member to join the church in Retreat was Bro. Pert. Elder Dennis continued spreading the gospel, and soon Bro. and Sister Bloomfield were added to the number.
While a place of worship was being erected in Retreat, a building was rented at Gayle to hold service.
When the structure in Retreat was ready, the saints moved into this new place of worship. The Lord added many members to the church and they soon outgrew the building. A new place of worship had to be sought. As this search continued Elder Dennis continued to spread the gospel. He climbed rocks and mountains and went through valleys and dales to share this everlasting gospel with all that would listen. He took nothing for his journey. He not only preached the word, but he lived an exemplary life, remembering the precept that says we should “Shun the very appearance of evil.”
God rewarded his faithfulness, and after fifteen years of separation from her husband, Sister Dennis returned home. This great man of God received her as if she had never left.
The saints acquired a piece of property in Petersfield and erected a tabernacle, which still stands today.
We pray for the saints of this tabernacle that the Lord will turn again the captivity and allow them to do a good work to His honour and glory.