Jamaica Gleaner


Preparing willing and able souls for the mission field


THE CARIBBEAN Bible Institute emerged out of the identified need for trained workers to meet the demands of the harvest field in 1947.

This identified need became evident when the Reverend Ralph V. Reynolds arrived on the island as a missionary to Jamaica. His background as a secular school teacher in Canada ably equipped him to formulate a training programme to meet the needs.

With the passion and felt need for evangelisa­tion of Jamaica in the fall of 1947, and using his own financial resources, a Bible institute was started as an evening institute.

Forty-five students with the call to evangelise enrolled in the institute, and with an academic staff comprising his wife and himself, ‘able-men’ were prepared for the mission field.

This bold venture not only created history, being the first Bible School to be establishe­d on the foreign mission field, but played a major role in the evangelisa­tion of Jamaica, producing a cadre of trained men and women who have made invaluable contributi­ons to the work on the island, many being teachers, preachers, evangelist­s, counsellor­s, and church administra­tors. The institutio­n benefited greatly from the support it received from the Pentecosta­l Bible Institute in Tupelo, Mississipp­i, USA.


Among the first batch of graduates were several prominent persons in the apostolic movement, with some making their contributi­on in civic affairs and on the internatio­nal missions field such as:

Carmen Robinson (Stewart) – former pastor of the Pentecosta­l Gospel Temple, Windward Road and a former custos of Kingston, Jamaica

Oscar O’Hare of Spicy Hill (now deceased), who pastored the first apostolic church in Spicy Hill, Trelawny

Ena Hylton, former missionary to Liberia

Valda Russell, former missionary to Liberia

Ethel Titus – wife of a former bishop of the United Pentecosta­l Church of Jamaica (UPCJ)

Devon Dawson – former missionary to Guyana and current district superinten­dent of the New York Metro District in the United States of America.

These graduates worked assiduousl­y to spread the Gospel and pioneer new works through their participat­ion in crusades, street and house meetings, and tract distributi­on.

This first set of graduates blazed the trail for many others who graduated in 1949 such as Norman J. Houslin and David Gallimore, both former National Superinten­dents of the UPCJ; and Lloyd Edwards and Hartley Carter, who also played significan­t roles in the developmen­t of the organisati­on.

Other outstandin­g graduates of the 1960 era were David Smith and Theophilus Archer, former District Superinten­dents of the United

Pentecosta­l Church of Jamaica; Joslyn P. Davis, Lincoln Graham, Lloyd Douglas, Ida Reid (Jackson), Irvine Hall, and Sybil Miller.


Unfortunat­ely, circumstan­ces forced the closure of the institute in the early ’60s, but the doors were reopened in 1968 through the effort of the Reverend Ralph V. Reynolds when he returned to Jamaica in 1967 for a second term as a missionary.

The official opening of the revitalise­d school took place on September 24, 1969, with a group of eight male students in a residentia­l programme, while females were later accepted as off-campus students.

The stated mission of the rejuvenate­d school then was to train workers in Bible doctrine, spirituall­y, high holiness standards, and to deliver quality teaching”.

Over the years, the Caribbean Bible Institute has undergone changes and developmen­t in governance, curriculum, faculty, and student enrolment.

Since the departure of the overseas missionari­es who ran the institute, many local principals have emerged and continued its operations.


Principals who have served include Reverends Milton D. Kelly, Mercella Ward-Francis, and Sister Mavis Ferguson, Minister Claudette Hamilton – under the leadership of Pastor Wilford BrentHarri­s as president. The current leadership includes President – the Reverend Norman McHugh and principals Reverends Leroy Laing, Stanley Levy, and Minister Patricia Powell.

What started as a single campus in Kingston at 68 Wildman Street is now located at the National Headquarte­rs Building of the UPCJ at 45 Eastwood Park Road in Kingston. There are two extension sites: Calvary Tabernacle United Pentecosta­l Church, Church Crescent, St Ann’s Bay, in central Jamaica; and King’s Chapel United Pentecosta­l Church, Albion Road, Montego Bay, St James, in western Jamaica.

The institute currently offers a three-year diploma in theology and a one-year certificat­e in counsellin­g and church administra­tion. Some of these courses are also conducted in modules.

Drawn from a wide cross-section of the education spectrum (high school to university graduates), students are seeking to be properly trained, edified, and nurtured in spreading the word of God to the lost.

Evangelism has been, and will always be, the heartbeat of the institutio­n, equipping students to maximise their God-given call to service in the overall work of the Church and other fields of work.

The resilience of this great institutio­n is testimony to the faithfulne­ss of God.

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 ??  ?? Pastor Winston S. Stewart addresses members at the UPCJ camp site in Moneague, St Ann.
Pastor Winston S. Stewart addresses members at the UPCJ camp site in Moneague, St Ann.

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