July 8, 2018 | St. Ann, Jamaica/Nigel Coke/IAD Staff
Two Seventh-day Adventist Church pastors were among over 15 Jamaicans from throughout the nation who were recipients of the Annual Governor General’s Achievement Awards.
Pastor Gordon Lindsay, youth ministries director for the church in North East Jamaica, in the Parish of St. Mary, and Pastor Omar Oliphant, district pastor in the Parish of St. Ann, received their awards during a ceremony held at the Cardiff Hotel and Spa in St. Ann, on June 28, 2018.
Through his office as youth ministries director, Pastor Gordon Lindsay has built a strong relationship with numerous communities and groups, impacting many lives outside of the pew. He is a volunteer chaplain of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, who has utilized his community relation skills and projects for youth development. Lindsay has coordinated several community feeding programs and was instrumental in the construction of a house for a homeless man. He currently coordinates the Pringle Children’s Home Development Initiative and Impact Annotto Bay, which provide counseling and empowerment sessions for young people aimed at reducing crime and violence.
“I am humbled to have been a recipient of this prestigious Award for Excellence,” said Lindsay. “The works I did and that which I am doing had no hopes of getting an award or acknowledgement, but I am just seeking to do what Jesus would have done, had He been here in person.”
Lindsay quoted the words of the late Delroy Gordon, ‘Service to humanity is the rent I pay for the breath that I breathe’.”
For Pastor Oliphant it was an honor to be given such award which he dedicated to all the youth whom he has served. “It is a call towards continued strides of excellence and service which will have an impact on those within my sphere and generation.”
Oliphant created history in the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica in 2017, by becoming the first ordained minister to become an attorney-at-law, when he was admitted to the Jamaican Bar on Dec, 7, 2017.
“From a heart filled with gratitude, I thank every person who has helped to shape and nurture my life and leadership in this direction. May the award inspire more to be the best version of themselves,” Oliphant said.
Through a wide and diverse range of activities and engagements, Oliphant, who is the immediate past youth and communication director for the church in North Jamaica, consistently maintained active service to the parish of St. Ann. The parish benefited from his brainchild “The Save-A-Youth Foundation” through the purchase of over eight nebulizers towards the St. Ann’s Bay Hospital and other similar donations in cash. The foundation over its first three years successfully raised over one million Jamaican dollars (or US $8,000) towards health care, dialysis assistance and other needs. Over the same period, Oliphant engaged hundreds of youth in rallies, youth debate series, drama productions and musical talent shows.
The Governor General Achievement Awards Recognizing Excellence are presented to individuals in recognition of “the work of many unsung heroes and heroines who have not received national honors, but who are eligible for recognition based on their academic performance or their service in their communities”.
The program has since its inception in 1991 by the Most Hon. Howard Cooke, consistently recognized and promoted excellence among citizens engaged in volunteer service and who demonstrate academic success and strong family values over time.