Saturday, April 18, 2009

Churches of Salt Cay

Salt Cay is approximately 2.5 square miles with a population that includes Turks & Caicos Islanders, Dominicans (Dominican Republic), Haitians, Americans, French, Dutch, Grenadians, Canadians and a host of other countries. The population varies from about 70 people to about 150 people depending upon how many guests or workers are on island (or how many Haitians come snuck in). There are no resorts but a number of small guest houses and lodgings. You can find out more about all that at There are three bars (two with restaurants), one restaurant without a bar, four small grocery stores and five churches.
Beginning at the airport (North), The Church of God of Prophecy is the first church you pass when you arrive on right hand side. Pastor Antoinette Talbot (also knows as Miss Netty) presides over the lively, dedicated congregation. Any Sunday you will pass by (or stop in), the joyful sounds of song and praise fill the air.

Continuing down the road you will come to Salt Cay Methodist Church on the left side of the street. Pastor Noyal Hamilton has moved the small but mighty group of worshippers to the rectory after Hurricane Ike took off the beautiful roof on the church. The rectory building of the Methodist Church is also the emergency shelter for the island in case of another hurricane.

As you come to the intersection of Victoria Street and turn left you will come to St. John's Anglican Church on the right hand side of the street. Canon Been often comes to officiate, but in his absence Mr. Holton Dickenson is the Catechist. The picture on the right was taken by Michele Belanger-McNair (Compass Rose Guest Cottage) of Father Mark on Trinity Day in 2007.
St. John's Anglican Church also has a very old cemetery within it's walls that is interesting to walk through. Standing on the grounds of the church, looking out to Sea is most spiritual and peaceful.

Continue your walk toward South Town on Victoria Street, past the Balfour Town Government Offices, Mary Robinson Primary School and Balfour Town Public Library and just a little bit past The Folly and you will see Mount Zion Baptist Church. Pastor Gary Lightbourne officiates on Sundays with Miss Rosalie Glinton playing the piano as the congregation raise their voices in praise and song. Most recently the Mount Zion Baptist Church hosted an all-faith praise day on Easter Monday. Members of all churches and the community joined together to sing and listen to the Senior citizens and members of the Mary Robinson Primary School sing selections. This was the first time for the event that will continue every year! It was truely wonderful.
I don't have a picture of the fifth church on the tour... but if you continue down Victoria Street and turn left on Glinton Street you will come to the cricket field and Community Center. Pastor Luckner Mondesair presides over The New Jerusalem Church. Be prepared to speak Creole or French at this wonderful gathering.

Most Sundays you will find me looking out to Sea, thankful to be able to enjoy the beauty and peace of the day.

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