Georgetown, Guyana – (October 1, 2017) President David Granger, today, called on churches of all denominations and faiths and all Guyanese to start a new movement, built on the pillars of the Village of Movement from which this nation was birthed. The Head of State told the congregation at a special service to mark the 175th Anniversary of the St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church at Uitvlugt, West Coast Demerara that the rich legacy and hard earned gains of the nation’s forbearers must safeguarded and productively used to enhance the living standards of all citizens.
“Examine closely and carefully, what happened in 1838 and how it was that 80,000 freed men and women were inspired to save their money to start this beautiful village Movement… Just as our fore parents had the intelligence to save their money and invest in land to ensure that future generations have secure lives, we too have an obligation to maintain that land and to ensure that the land is gainfully used,” the President said.
He explained to the congregation that their fore parents in their wisdom, purchased land and erected the villages firmly on four important pillars; the school, the church, the home and the farm. President Granger said that poor and uneducated as freed Africans were, they recognised the importance of educating their children, keeping their families together in homes, worshipping God and cultivating their own food on farms.
“I warn you that if you kick those pillars down, the villages will collapse… If you go into any community and the schools are empty, the churches are empty, the farms are overgrown and the homes are broken, then you are facing catastrophe,” he said.
The President used the forum to express his concern over the symptoms of decay that plague communities across the country such as domestic and interpersonal violence, suicide, teenage pregnancy, substance abuse, increase in school dropouts. He said that some of these problems arose from the fact that people abandoned the principles their fore parents lived by.
Emphasising the need for unity and cooperation among the Guyanese the President reminded the congregation that the greatest Commandment of the Bible is “love you neighbour as thyself” and noted that if citizens abide by this then issues such as racism, which goes against God’s teachings, will become a thing of the past.
Meanwhile, Minister of St. Luke’s, Rev. Colleen Anderson said that she is proud of the legacy that the church has built over the years. “Today we are sitting in a building that was constructed about 55 years ago but our forefathers started this movement 175 years ago and we have to continue to carry out God’s and to share this spiritual gift of faith,” she said.
The Parish of St. Luke’s was first established in August 1826. In December 1839, the foundation stone was laid by Governor Henry Light for the Parish’s building but it was not completed until October 2, 1842. The church is celebrating its anniversary under the theme, “Honouring our legacy, rooted in faith”.