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Jamaica Adventists on their own


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KINGSTON – Spurred by phenomenal growth, Jamaican Adventists are moving out on their own from the parent West Indies Union Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists which will go out of existence, church leaders have confirmed.As of November 29, the Jamaica Union Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists (JAMU) will formally come into being, with responsibility for the five regional East, West, Central, North and North East Jamaica Conferences.The new Jamaica Union will cater to the spiritual needs of 250 000 Adventists, making  it the largest Christian denomination in  Jamaica, and a beacon  in the worldwide  Adventist Church.“We are looking forward to this change in our ecclesiastical landscape,” said Pastor Derek Bignall, the Jamaican president of the 104-year-old West Indies Union. “This is a sign of maturity and growth within our region.”One of the biggest items of church news in recent times, the decision to create a Jamaica Union,  will have a ripple effect on other territories of the West Indies Union and  on the Mandeville-based Northern Caribbean University (NCU).The Bahamas, Cayman Islands and the Turks & Caicos Islands which were also part of the West Indies Union with Jamaica before the reorganisation, will now become the Atlantic Caribbean  Union Mission,  with approximately  25 000 members.The Herbert Thompson-led NCU, previously known as the West Indies College, will be jointly owned and operated by the Jamaica and the Atlantic Unions, church officials also confirmed.Church elders have also decided to build a new church to perpetuate the memory of the West Indies Union in Mandeville.The new configuration was voted into existence by the executive committee of the Adventist World Church at its  April 7, 2010 annual  spring meeting, and details presented to anxious pastors, workers and church elders.(Jamaica Observer)

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