Jamaican Pastor Receives Grant for Sabbatical Journey


Reverend Dr. Alfred B. Johnson, Pastor of the Clinton Presbyterian Avenue Church in New Jersey, has received a National Clergy Renewal Programme grant, funded by the Indianapolis-based Eli Lily Endowment Inc.
The grant will enable Rev. Johnson, a Jamaican, to go on a sabbatical, visiting England and Scotland. In England, he will be searching for the roots from which the Pilgrim Fathers came to Newark and founded the city of Newark, New Jersey. He will also visit Scotland and the home of John Knox, from where the Scottish Presbyterian Church developed.
He will then go on a three-country tour of Africa visiting Zambia, Ghana and Kenya, tracing his African roots and heritage. He plans to visit sites from which slaves from Africa were shipped across the Atlantic to North America and the Caribbean.
Dr. Johnson plans to culminate his sabbatical by celebrating Emancipation night (August 1), in Jamaica.
He told JIS News that he is looking forward to this event. “My favourite Jamaican National Hero is Sam Sharpe, the martyr who forced the hands of the imperialist or colonialist powers to enact the Emancipation laws,” he said.
Rev. Johnson has been very active in the Jamaican Diaspora Movement, serving the Northeast Region of the Education sector. He is also the founding President of the Jamaica Organization of New Jersey.
He is the first Jamaican to have served as the Moderator of one of the 171 Presbyteries of the Presbyterian Church in the USA.
Dr. Johnson, a past student of Calabar High School, has been active in the Jamaican community, and besides serving as a Board member of the Caribbean Medical Mission, visiting St. Vincent and the Grenadines, he is also a Vice President of the United Caribbean-American Network, which has helped to rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

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