C. D. BROOKS, field secretary of the General Conference, was invited to conduct a series of meetings in Montego Bay, Jamaica, in connection with the Inter-American Division mammoth evangelistic thrust during the fiftieth year of the division's organization.
From the beginning the adversary fought against this plan. The West Jamaica Conference had ordered a new tent pavilion from London, and at delivery time the London dock strike had spoiled the possibility of this tent being delivered, and created a crisis of sorts. However, Pastor Silburn Reid, resourceful president of the conference, refusing to give up hope that this meeting would go on, finally succeeded in locating a used tent in the States that was flown to the island.
Pastor Brooks arrived on August 15, the tent came the next day, and the opening date was scheduled for August 20. Could the tent be erected and the preparation made so that the meeting could begin as planned? Pastor Brooks reports that he was cautiously optimistic about it all. He intended for the series to begin on time but was prepared to begin with certain inconveniences.
To his amazement, he saw the noble saints rally and rise to the challenge with astonishing enthusiasm, cooperation, faithfulness, and skill. He stood watching in wonder as all the people worked, accomplishing the seemingly impossible before his eyes. The president and the ministers were right there working tirelessly. Pastor Brooks noted that as carpenters finished one section of a railing around the rostrum, ladies began draping it with cloth.
"I've never seen anything like it," says Pastor Brooks. "When I saw that, I felt a new surge of confidence and gratitude about the whole meeting."
Benches were assembled for 1,800 people, the sign was up, the lot was cleared, everything was in order, and on Sunday night, August 20, after just four days, the Montego Bay campaign began with standing room only.
A faithful, hard-working staff was assigned to these meetings. Pastors F. Broomfield, Carl Henry, C. C. Nebblett, Isaac Williams, Earl Oliphant, Rupert Young, and Earl Clayton were joined by three zealous and godly Bible instructors Mrs. Kathleen Clarke, Mrs. Doris Hunter, and Mrs. R. E. Dowdie. The conference administrators were also a part of the team.
Pastor Brooks reports: "Seldom has anyone been more diligent in duty, more faithful in attendance, more encouraging in his attitude and speech than the president himself, Pastor Silburn Reid. The ministers' wives and the laymen made a great contribution. There was never a night that did not see a huge attendance, and this was the rainy season. When the work became too heavy for our paid staff, scores of people volunteered and reported to work each day."
There were laymen who owned buses, and night after night they consistently brought visitors 50 to 75 each. Others, including young people, made it a habit to bring 5 or 10 each night. What a pattern for anyone who is serious about finishing the work!
After eight weeks of preaching the message, 323 precious believers were baptized. Ten ministers, served by 20 deacons, stood in the sea and baptized these people in the incomparable blue Caribbean as thousands stood praising Cod on the beach. On the final night more than 130 men and women answered the appeal to join the church. Pastor Reid reported in his last letter that the total baptized from this series is now 404.
Thank God for the victories! God be praised for the willing hearts of His people in the Montego Bay area. All glory to God for what was done by His power and Spirit. Pastor Brooks will never forget the love, the nobility, the warmth, and the response of the wonderful people of Jamaica.