Tabernacle of Faith Baptist Church

Tabernacle of Faith Baptist Mission Church
May Pen PO, Jamaica, West Indies

The history of our Foreign Mission efforts is also one of Evangelism where in Matthew 28:19 it reads “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:”

This history also includes two large metropolitan cities (Los Angeles, California and May Pen Jamaica WI), two churches miles apart one on the west coast the other off the east coast (Tabernacle of Faith Missionary Baptist Church and Tabernacle of Faith Baptist Mission), two cultures, similar histories, evangelistic pastors, visionary pastors, Missionaries who traveled across the expanse of the continent, and a people with the love of Christ, a heart of outreach and the gift of giving.


In Joshua, Chapter 3 and 4, the bible speaks of the miraculous crossing of the Jordan River by the children of Israel. The crossing occurred during the harvest season when the banks of the river Jordan would overflow. Water was every where making it impossible to cross the Jordan River by foot.

The priests of the Levites bearing the ark of the covenant of the Lord were instructed by Joshua to go to the brink of the Jordan River and stand still. When the soles of the Priest stood in the water, as the water passed over their feet the waters rose in a bank allowing the people to cross over on dry land. After the people crossed the Jordan River, Joshua instructed them to take 12 men from the people of every tribe. He commanded each of them to go to the place in the middle of the Jordan where the Priest stood and take a stone. This stone was to be left in a heap where the children of Israel slept that night. Joshua then tells the men the purpose of the stones; when their children ask in time to come what did the stones mean, they shall let their children know that “Israel came over the Jordan River on dry land”.

Tabernacle’s methods of remembering our foreign Mission Church  is located in the historical records established between 1944 and 1982 by Mrs. Ware which are maintained in the church office, our long time monthly financial support to the Jamaica Mission and the existence of the facility , the Tabernacle of Faith Baptist Mission in May Pen PO, Jamaica.


EARLY HISTORY 1954 – 1982

In the records of the Tabernacle of Faith Baptist Church, Los Angeles, CA 90059, one finds that very early in the history of Tabernacle of Faith Baptist Church, we were involved in the mission fields of Jamaica,  West Indies through Pastor Ferrell’s long standing relationship with Bishop. N.E. French. Tabernacle sent barrels and bales  of clothing and finances to support three churches that were under the supervision of Pastor Ferrell. They were:

The records reflect that in our twelfth year, “being a Tabernacle of Faith”, we purchased sight unseen, land for a Mission Church, for $300.00 US dollars at Four Paths (known as Jacobs Hut Crossing), four miles from May Pen, Clarendon Parish, Jamaica.

On July 5, 1956, Pastor Ferrell and Voncille Baker arrived in Jamaica and Pastor Ferrell preached each night and on Sundays for four weeks, resulting in 406 souls for baptism and membership.  The Jamaica Mission, Tabernacle of Faith Mission Church was born. (Link -Ferrell Baker)

Tabernacle of Faith Baptist Church - Bishop French - Jamaica Mission Through the blessings of the Lord, donations from members and friends of Tabernacle were received and in March 1957 we were able to erect a Facility named Tabernacle of Faith Baptist Mission. It was pastured by Bishop N. E. French and supervised by Pastor Ferrell.  Pastor Ferrell was called Bishop and Tabernacle of Faith Baptist Church of Los Angeles was recognized as the headquarter church by the members of the Jamaica Mission.

Tabernacle of Faith Baptist Church - Mrs. French - Jamaica MissionThe exact date of Bishop French’s passing could not be located. I believe that it was sometime before 1990. With his death, his wife, Rev. Kathleen French pastured the First Church in Kingston Jamaica as well as Tabernacle Mission Church.

 

From 1957 until Pastor Ferrell’s passing, occasional visits were made by him to the Jamaica Mission. 


HISTORY FROM 1982 – 1996

From 1982 through 1996 other than monthly financially support to our Mission Church there were no physical contacts with the Tabernacle of Faith Baptist Mission.


HISTORY FROM 1997 - 2000

In December 1996, concerns were expressed by Rev. Mrs. French about the adequacy of funds sent to Jamaica in support of the Mission church.

Under the direction and leadership of Pastor, Rev. Dr. Reginald M. Leffall, III the Board of Trustees organized a visit to Kingston Jamaica. A date was set, members and office staff got busy, prayers went up, money was donated for the mission and  17 boxes were gathered that included clothes, books, school supplies, school yard toys and bibles all plans finalized, on Sunday, April 26, 1997, a group of eight missionaries were on our way to Kingston, Jamaica to visit the Tabernacle of Faith Missionary Church. The eight missionaries were:

Tabernacle of Faith Baptist Church - Mission Work - Group 1 Tabernacle of Faith Baptist Church - Mission Work - Group 1

After  waiting for Rev. French to arrange transportation and a guide to take us to the Mission Churches, we spent Monday and Tuesday touring Kingston. Tuesday  night, we delivered the boxes to Rev. French and attended evening service at  Rev. French’s Church  Kingston Jamaica, where Pastor Leffall preached  and Ruth Vaughn sang.


Wednesday morning at breakfast we expressed our restlessness, concerns and disappointment in attempts to locate and visit the Mission Church.  Pastor Leffall made new contacts who inquired into location and names and someone remembered the name Tabernacle in the country.  Pastor then chartered a van for us  to search the May Pen area for the Tabernacle. The driver was named Mr. Williams.

In search of the Jamaica Mission, we drove 62 miles from Kingston through the countryside. We were lead by the Lord to stop by the side of a Church School that had a similar name: “Faith Tabernacle Basic School”.  (Link – Students 3)

The men in the group went inside the Church School to inquire about its name, if there was any knowledge of Pastor Ferrell and the possibility of the Mission Church built by Pastor Ferrell.

A male member of the church sitting under a shade tree and two of the teachers told us that they were expecting us and had been informed by Rev. French on Tuesday that we would be there Wednesday morning at 10:00. The Pastor, Rev. Lassalle’s Smart, his assistant Pastor, Rev. Warion Gabbidon and the members were there waiting to greet us until 12:00 noon. When we did not show, they left.

They knew nothing about the history of the church, they had no knowledge of Pastor Ferrell. They talked to Rev. French occasionally by phone and saw her annually at Church Convention (Revival). The last time they saw her was in February.

As we walked around the inside of the church, we felt the presence of the Lord within the walls. We imagined 1957 and Pastor Ferrell building the church. We noticed similarities in

There were no glass windows only shutters.
Water stains marked the ceiling tiles.
The roof was rusting and in great need of repair.
There were no ceiling light bulb fixtures.
In addition, there were no toilet facilities or running water – only out house type facilities located with in the building.

The building and grounds were clean and well maintained.

The school room was added on the back of the sanctuary. The room was covered with wall to wall desk. There was very low lighting as the shutters were partially closed. There was no running water, ice chest kept things cool.

There was peacefulness with in the walls of the sanctuary and we felt within our hearts, that although the name was different, we had found The Tabernacle of Faith Mission Church. 


Little Alvin was walking around on the outside of the church and in excitement called us to come see what he had found.

The corner stone of the Church read:

Tabernacle Mission Church,  Rev. F. Douglas Ferrell built March 1957 “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it:” Psalm 127:1    

Tabernacle of Faith Baptist Mission Church - Cornerstone in Jamaica


Going back into the church, the teachers informed us that Deacon Hahienigham who was quietly sitting under a shade tree in his car, was waiting to take us to see Pastor Smart who lived in Four Paths.  The drive was a short distance.

Tabernacle of Faith Baptist Mission Church in Jamaica - Rev SmartRev. Smart was about six feet tall, gray, hard of hearing and blind from cataracts. His wife was deceased.  He told us that he had worked in London England for more than 30 years. In 1985 he retired and returned to Jamaica. The Lord visited him in a vision one evening, showed him tabernacle and said that the Church was in ruins, but the foundation was solid. (Note: when he spoke of the foundation, he was not speaking of the concrete flooring.)  The next day he and his wife drove straight to Tabernacle and it was as he saw in his dreams. There were only 3 members remaining. He inquired who the pastor was and they sent him to Rev. Mrs. French in Kingston. He went to see Rev. French, she gave him the church, informed him that the taxes had not been paid, and gave him a box of receipts with 30 cents Jamaican currency.  He used his retirement money and redeemed the property by paying seven years back taxes. He used his pension; the members raised money and “gave from their hearts to begin the restoration of the Tabernacle.” The school was organized with funding from the Secretary of the Parish of Claredon (the government) and was for children ages 3-5 while their parents worked.  

No one questioned had any information about the church. He never received any funds from Rev. French.  After a long conversation he sent us to see Rev. Gabbidon who lived miles away in Patmas Cross.

Tabernacle of Faith Baptist Mission Church in Jamaica - Rev. Gabbidon with Sis Loeb

After visiting with the Gabbidon’s we returned to Kingston, overjoyed. Our mission was accomplished.  The rest of the week, new support pledges to the Jamaica mission was made and Pastor Smart indicated that he would restore the name back to the founding name.

As the group journeyed back to Los Angeles, on May 1, 1998, we felt a spiritual kinship and friendship as we talked about God’s goodness.


HISTORY FROM 2000 - 2008

Rev. Reginald M. Leffall - Tabernacle of Faith Baptist Church

In the year 2000, Pastor Leffall went back to Jamaica when Rev. Smart retired  and installed Mrs. Warion Gabbidon as pastor of Tabernacle of Faith Mission Church.  Pastor Leffall communicates regularly with the head Deacon,Bro; Gabbidon who also send updates and thanks us regularly for the monthly gift.  

 

Current Photos from Jamaica for 2008






HISTORY 2008 -

The Lord has called us to go to Jamaica for the 2009 Conference (revival) to be held the week leading up to Good Friday (4-4-2009 through 4-11-2009). Prayer and planning began in June 2008. Our Theme is: Pray, Prepare and Promote Our Scripture is from Matthew 28:19


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