Over the past year, the Calvary Temple Community Church in Groves, St Philip, has multiplied its growth.
Senior pastor Andre Symmonds said they had come a long way since he had first been invited to preach there by founder Dr George Callender. At that time, he said the temple was a small wooden building “leaning on one side” at the Crane, St Philip.
Today, the temple is a large wall structure, four times as big as it used to be, with a technical team, televisions, a projector, sound system and many dedicated members.
“It was a huge difference from what we were used to but within eight months God took us to where we are now. At first, it was a matter of wondering how we were going to fill the seats but before we could even start going out into the community, the seats were filling and God kept sending us talented people to take us to another level. In the first seven months, we have seen attendance triple and since then we have increased even more. On average we have 300 people on a Sunday morning,” he said.
Andre Symmonds (left) with his brother, Minister of Tourism and International Transport Kerrie Symmonds, who attended the service.
On a personal level, Symmonds said he had put his past actions behind and was flourishing in his new role.
In 2016, he was dismissed as senior pastor of The People’s Cathedral amid charges of sexual misconduct from a member of the church. In September last year, he became part of another Pentecostal assembly and again serves as senior pastor.
After a dedication service last Sunday, he spoke to Easy about how things had been going.
“It has been redemptive and encouraging, a sign of God’s confirmation that He never forsakes His own. The year I’ve been here has been one of affirmation – when God calls you, He doesn’t change His mind,” he said.
Symmonds said he had some options when he was approached by Callender but a vision from God made the decision for him, a vision he did not actually receive.
“My wife and I could have started from scratch, so we prayed and fasted but neither of us felt that conviction to start from scratch. One night God spoke to my wife in a dream and we felt it was God’s sign that Calvary was the way to go and we never looked back,” he said.
Symmonds said he was now looking ahead, after rededicating himself to God. He said God was again taking care of him.
“Whatever hurt, pain, discouragement or rejection I felt then, it has all been erased. God showed me that you are not serving a man or an assembly. When you come to God, He takes care of you and He has taken care of my family and me. If a person humbles themselves, God will exalt them in due season,” he added. (CA)