Cummings Temple Mission Trip on Grand Bahama Island
With the significant growth of religious tourism throughout The Islands Of The Bahamas, more persons are making a consistent effort to center their travels around religious based occasions.
For the Young People's and Children's Division (YPD)of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), their choice to visit The Bahamas, particularly Grand Bahama Island, was simple, as the group felt moved to dedicate a day on island specifically for mission work.
Jamarien Moore, Episcopal President, YPD, said, "We are so excited to be here in Grand Bahama. We had an opportunity to attend an annual conference a couple years ago and at that point there was no roof on the church. We wanted to make a bigger difference here in Grand Bahama...so we went back home, spoke to the conference director ...and they gave us permission to come back and make a difference."
With a total of 57 persons, the group from Florida, travelled on the Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line's ship, the MV Grand Celebration, to spend a full day painting the walls of the Cummings Temple AME Church on Settler's Way.
Hudson Williamson, Pastor, Cummings Temple AME Church, said, "It serves a great help because the church was damaged in 2016 during Hurricane Matthew. We have over $300,000 in repair that needs to be done so this group coming over helps us push the work further in the restoration process."
"I am very grateful for the YPD president director for choosing to come to Cummings Temple this year," said Williamson.
As the church sustained significant damage during Hurricane Matthew in 2016, several activities and conferences generally scheduled to take place on property have been canceled or postponed due to the current condition of the facility.
Debbie Huyler, Manager, Religious Tourism & Guest Services, Ministry of Tourism & Aviation, said, "Today is a grand day for Cummings Temple because we have a lot of young people that are here and are working feverishly trying to do whatever they can to assist their sister church here in Grand Bahama".
"As far as the Ministry of Tourism is concerned, this work is something that we encourage, and we are asking all the other churches to see what they can do in spreading the word regarding Religious Tourism. The majority of our churches are affiliated with a church abroad so this is great networking for us."
The group spent a total of one day on Grand Bahama Island and was the first to make an effort as it relates to mission outreach to the church.
The Minister for Youth, Sports, & Culture, Hon. Michael Pintard, said, "I'm really impressed by their commitment to volunteerism and to building the church because they understand, as we do in The Bahamas, that the church is really the most important institution that can lead to the transformation of people's lives."
"It's wonderful that they are coming down to assist the church in helping rehabilitate this facility and I applaud the church, the Ministry of Tourism and all of the persons who played a role in making this happen."