I have a dream, were the spoken and unspoken words of the young St. Jennifer McFarlane. She visited the Cayman Islands in December of 1987, and it was love at first sight. She quickly began to spread the love of Jesus Christ to those whom she met. She returned to Jamaica and became an unofficial ambassador for Cayman. For over twenty years, she would decree and declare that the Cayman Islands would one day bear the name: Church of God and Saints of Christ. Establishing the Church in Cayman was her mandate, and she took up the banner and ran with the news proclaiming that Jesus Christ is Lord. She made contact with St. Sandra Simms, and together they had services on the Sabbath. St. Matthew 18:20 records, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”St Sandra later migrated to the United States to be with her family.

They say patience is a virtue. St. Jennifer invited everyone to visit the Cayman Islands. The first Saints to take up the offer were Elder Paul Hunnighan (then Deacon) and St. Gary Robinson. Others followed: St. Vinneal Hinds, Elder Duwhayne Elliott (then Deacon), St. Damor Palmer, and St. Marjorie Elliott visited in 2005. St. Jennifer warmly welcomed the Deacon and Saints. Sabbath service was held in the home of St. Sandra Simms. Eventually, the other Saints who visited in the early years were the late Evangelist Wesley Grant and his wife Sister Elder Annemarie Grant, St. Deborah Drummonds, and her husband, Deacon Winston Drummonds. As the invation was extended far and wide in ensuign years many other Saints accepted and added their presence to the number.

As thankful as St. Jennifer was for these visits, she still longed to see the church established in the Cayman Islands.  She consulted with and got the approval of Bishop Albert Hall, Executive Officer of the Caribbean, West Indian Islands, Central and South American Diocese, to make inquiries concerning this. Chief Evangelist George Whyte also visited the Cayman Islands, spoke with the immigration department, and was advised to join with one of the already established religious bodies. Church of God and Saints of Christ is the highest institution and second to none, so this was not an option that we would explore. St. Jennifer was not deterred and pressed forward.

For many years, it was lonely for her to spend Sabbath days by herself. She passed the time reading the bible, listening to recorded sermons and any church literature she could find. Eventually, she learned how to access pre-recorded videos of church services on YouTube. In 2014, the Home and Foreign Mission, Caribbean diocese introduced an idea to her. They would facilitate video conferencing the service via Skype into the service at the Montego Bay tabernacle in Jamaica. St. Jennifer leapt at the idea because at that time the congregation was growing. On Sabbaths, she would dress in her uniform and sat with visitors watching the televised service. She could give her testimony and it rejuvenated her spirits. This was not without hiccups. Technology was good but without the right equipment can become bothersome. Sometimes they were unable to hear clearly but St. Jennifer persevered and faithfully kept joining despite the challenges and at times accepted the invitation to join services via Skype at the Hollywood tabernacle in Florida. God truly rewards faithfulness.

The Lord always has a plan. More Saints settled in the Cayman Islands for work purposes, and the number began to grow. Soon others began to realize the vision and the possibility that a church was needed in that part of the vineyard. Acting upon the instruction Christ gave when he said in St. Matthew 7:7-8, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” She began talks with Elder Elliott and sought his help in her pursuits. Elder Elliott along with the help of St. Aerica Harrison started to make inquiries. They were relentless in their endeavors and after many setbacks, a breakthrough was made, and the application process started. It was long and tedious, but they pursued nonetheless, knowing that faith without works is dead.

The Church was registered on February 24, 2020 (certificate issued on June 17th, 2020) in the Cayman Islands. Coincidentally Cayman Island’s motto is “He hath founded it upon the seas.” The Lord is well pleased for His righteousness’ sake; He will magnify the law, and make it honourable.

Sister McFarlane was approaching milestone number 50 in her years on the earth. She believed that this achievement should be celebrated in a way that honoured God. She sent invitations to the Saints in the dioceses to attend her 50th birthday party in the Cayman Islands. A combined number of Saints from the American and Caribbean Dioceses, twenty two Saints, and one visitor answered the call. It was history in the making. On July 20 and 27, 2019, Sabbath services were kept at the Town Hall, 12 Fort Street, and Lions Community Centre, 905 Crew Road, both in George Town. The services were rich, and everyone one in high spirits. Deacon Lincoln Quinland and St. Shantaul Simpson put it best when they said respectively: …27 years in the making, and it took one person to get us here. The services yielded fruit, and a new candidate, Ms. Branique Kerr, was added to the number. On July 20, 2019, the first baptism took place in the Cayman Islands. Candidate Navy Guthrie Wallace was immersed into the waters of baptism by Elder Joseph Palmer and became a member of the Church, and this was one for the history books. The Psalmist David said, “This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes,” (Psalm 118:23).

God does reward faithfulness, and His promises are sure. St. Jennifer McFarlane was appointed to the office of Sister Elder by Bishop Hall on April 18, 2020, and was later made the Overseer of the flock assisted by Elder Leroy Murchison, on December 20, 2020. Tabernacle No. 1, George Town Grand Cayman, has been established. Today the tabernacle’s membership stands at five members and one candidate. The Lord will undoubtedly add to His Kingdom such as are to be saved.

Written by SE Marjorie Elliott, Home and Foreign Mission Director

July 2021