Hundreds Attend Independence Church Service in Washington D.C.

Photo: Derrick Scott

Story Highlights

  • Hundreds of Jamaicans turned out on Sunday, August 6, at the Howard University’s Dunbarton Chapel for a service of thanksgiving in celebration of Jamaica’s 55th anniversary of Independence.
  • Prime Minister the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, in his message read by Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency, Audrey Marks, lauded members of the Jamaican Diaspora for their contribution towards the development of the country, as well as raising the nation’s profile in their adopted home.
  • “Jamaica has a rich history and culture with a hospitable people. And if we are to move forward both socially and economically, we as a people will have to do it for ourselves and not rely on outside help,” Rev. Dr. Soaries Jr. said.

Hundreds of Jamaicans turned out on Sunday, August 6, at the Howard University’s Dunbarton Chapel for a service of thanksgiving in celebration of Jamaica’s 55th anniversary of Independence.

The annual church service, which is the centrepiece of the Embassy of Jamaica’s commemorative activities, was attended by members of the Diplomatic Corps, as well as members of the Jamaican community in the Washington metropolitan area, New York, Philadelphia, Maryland and Virginia.

Also in attendance were representatives of international organisations in Washington, as well as heads of Jamaican Organisations.

Prime Minister the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, in his message read by Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks, lauded members of the Jamaican Diaspora for their contribution towards the development of the country, as well as raising the nation’s profile in their adopted home.

Prime Minister Holness pointed out that the celebration of Jamaica’s 55th year of Independence “provided an opportunity for us to reflect as a nation on our progressive journey over the years, and the important contributions of our people both at home and in the Diaspora, to the development of our island home.”

For her part, Ambassador Marks encouraged the gathering to redouble their commitment to themselves and to Jamaica, while ensuring that the country continues on a path towards sustainable growth, development and prosperity.
She noted that even as the country celebrates 55 years of Independence, there were still hurdles to overcome, adding that these can be addressed by steadfastly working towards building on the positive legacy of Jamaicans, both at home and abroad.

Meanwhile, in delivering the sermon, Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens, Somerset New Jersey, the Rev. Dr. DeForest Soaries Jr., said “if Jamaica is to get the help it needs, then it will have to start with itself and its people.”

“Jamaica has a rich history and culture with a hospitable people. And if we are to move forward both socially and economically, we as a people will have to do it for ourselves and not rely on outside help,” Rev. Dr. Soaries Jr. said.

He added that the Jamaican brand was very strong and “if we harness these attributes, we can become a world powerhouse.”

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