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Living for God

Sherie Holder-Olutayo

Living for God

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Some people instinctively know from an early age what they are going to do in the future. Take newly-ordained Reverend Jacynthia Haynes, who admits that since kindergarten, she always felt that calling to the ministry. Perhaps it was the example she saw in her parents in which they instilled religious values and took their children to church. But ever since she went to Sunday School at the Nazarene at Collymore Rock, Jacynthia knew that she had to live for God.
“When I was a teenager my district superintendent at the time, Reverend Eversley would always ask me ‘When are you going to come to CNC to study?’ and I would always tell him I’m going to come, I’m going to come,” she recalled. “Even as a teenager I was involved in teaching the kids arts and craft or ushering. My focus was always ministry for God. That’s where I’m happy, that’s where my passion comes from.”
Jacynthia credits her time at the Nazarene at Collymore Rock for giving her the spiritual foundation to fulfil her dreams. Eventually Jacynthia did make good on her promise to the district superintendent and attended the Trinidad-based Caribbean Nazarene College. This past March she was elevated from pastor to reverend. Judging from her looks, one wouldn’t quickly assume that the 39-year-old is a reverend. She even admits that people are always surprised when she tells them.
Jacynthia admits that there is some stereotyping that goes on because of the preconceived ideas and notions that people have, but she doesn’t let any attitudes bother her.
“It’s more of a mindset,” she says, “but it’s not as prevailing as it was before. I’ve not really experienced anything like that.”
Her time at college had its difficult moments.
“I remember after my first semester, I said I wasn’t going back because it was too hard,” she said. “But as I went on I realized God wanted me to know that my reliance was on him and not on anyone else. During those four years God and I had lots of conversations back and forth.”
Though she is a reverend in the Nazarene district, she still attends the Collymore Rock church where she grew up. Jacynthia remembers the first sermon she preached at the church where she took a somewhat non-traditional approach.
“I spoke to our children’s group and I came up to the platform dressed like Bob the Builder. I had the band play the Bob the Builder music,” she said. “The sermon was about building a foundation for our children. I know sometimes parents focus on the educational foundation but they slack up on the spiritual foundation.
“So what I did I had my sand, water, cement, blocks, even my assistant had his hard hat and it was really an exciting time and children really got the message.”
Jacynthia prides herself on taking a different approach to her ministry and reaching people.
“I remember saying to God when I was in college, ‘God, I don’t want an ordinary ministry. Sometimes I think I put my foot in my mouth by saying that, but I’m always thinking of ways that I can make my message what God wants it to be. I will say to God whenever I speak it has to be that change comes about.”
Jacynthia, who is now in the ministry full-time, hopes to make a change in the lives of the youth whom she works with and also with married couples. Though she is still waiting on God in terms of providing her a husband in his perfect timing, she enjoys working with couples.
In the meantime, Jacynthia wants to focus on her work with children and young people.
“I always feel if you can reach them at the stage when they’re young then the church can prepare them for what is to come. Then they can be a better person,” she said.