Vibrant church service kicks off Reggae Month activities
Reggae Month 2021 received a vibrant and prayerful opening on Sunday as guests gathered, mostly online, and a few special guests in person, for the annual church service meant to kick-start a month-long slate of activities.
A lively praise and worship segment opened this year’s service, and the socially distant congregation rejoiced in song and dance at the Fellowship Tabernacle on Fairfield Avenue in Kingston. Among those in physical attendance were Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange and State Minister Arnaldo Terrelonge. Representatives from the Government, the tourism sector, and local entertainers were also present while virtual guests were encouraged to ‘Come ketch di Riddim’ on the live stream. Carolyn McDonald-Riley, director of the Tourism Linkages Network, represented well on behalf of Minister of Tourism Edmund Barlett as she warmly greeted the physical and virtual congregation and delivered her message of support.
“It is good to be in the house of the Lord for the start of Reggae Month 2021. The journey continues, and the show must go out. Reggae music celebrates the spirit of our ancestors and early pioneers who used their creative imagination to compose music that would contain the struggles, challenges, and triumphs of our Jamaican people,” said Grange. It is within this spirit that the organisers pay homage to forefathers, trailblazers, and reggae sensations in what is now the 14th staging of Reggae Month.
Reverend Merrick ‘Al’ Miller, pastor of Fellowship Tabernacle, welcomed the local music fraternity to worship. In his address, he highlighted that Sunday was a great day to celebrate what God has given to the country, this gift, called reggae music.
“It is the beginning of Reggae Month, so there are a series of activities which will be taking place. We are encouraging you to follow it, see what is happening, engage the process, participate and enjoy the culture. Every year, it’s an exciting and significant time. What is great is that they particularly recognise that in all that they do, they need God’s grace. So they begin the month with a church service,” he shared.
Performances included the talented Rhoda Isabella, who graced the stage after the first scripture reading and offered a beautiful serenade, and gospel artiste Kevin Downswell, who led the charge in musical ministry and invited reggae artist Romain Virgo to join him on stage in performance. The audience was also invited to take a stroll down memory lane with video flashbacks from the 2020 Reggae Month church service.
Reggae Month will feature a number of virtual events, all February long, including tributes to reggae legends. Bob Marley Celebration Day will take place on Saturday, February 6, the birthday anniversary of Bob Marley. Tomorrow, which is the birthday anniversary of Dennis Brown, organisers will host a live reggae bash.