Sergeant Rochell McGibbon: Embracing Christianity
SERGEANT ROCHELL McGibbon grew up in a Rastafarian household Maxfield Avenue in Kingston but converted to Christianity 2009 and was baptised two years ago.
As the police officer in charge of the Community Safety and Security (CSS) Branch in St Mary, McGibbon works closely with church leaders of all denominations and believes that every individual has the right to decided how, where, why, and when they want to serve God.
Speaking to Family and Religion earlier this week, she said that having the freedom to research and find one’s own spirituality is essential for the development of all human beings, irrespective of one’s background or religion.
McGibbon, who attends the Emanuel Apostolic Church in Port Maria, said: “I think what you are taught and grow up with is all you really know until you’re an adult and get to explore other areas of life, and Christianity is one such area that I explored.
“Being a police officer gives me the opportunity to be around a lot of churches. We visit them every day of the week because we consider the church community to be part of what we do. Reaching out to them is important to CSS because it might be a case where we can’t really get certain people to come to a meeting, but if you go to church, they will be there.
“Rastafarianism and Christianity are similar because they are both religions that believe in the Bible, but the doctrines and belief systems are different. I think Rastafarians skew their conversations to particular aspects of the Bible. Personally, I feel more comfortable being a Christian, and it’s the comfort that comes from within that causes me to feel that way.”
Despite her love for Christianity, there are some issues McGibbon is unhappy with, most notably the behaviour of those who should know better.
She explained: “Oftentimes, it feels like some people go to church just for the status it gives them and because it forms part of their autobiography. Sometimes these people are part of the society, so they want a position in the Church, which they hold on to for dear life if they get.
“I think this can take away from the main focus of what church should be about: saving souls and speaking the doctrine. The Church needs to find its place back in society because it has a social responsibility to assist in alleviating the social ills that are happening around us every day.
“Rather than just being a building, church can be kept anywhere in a community, even under a tree, and it’s through those mediums that you can reach out to people and their souls. I really think the Church needs to be seen as more of an outreach ministry because that is really what it ought to be.”
McCalla: Despite embracing Christianity, there are some elements of the religion she is unhappy with, most notably the behaviour of those who should know better.