By: St. Clair Sazam Hull
(CHARLESTOWN, NEVIS)- On the morning of Friday, February 14, 2014, The Nevis Christian Council in collaboration with the Nevis Evangelical Association conducted a press conference at the Red Cross Building located on Chapel Street in Charlestown.
The event was held in an effort to address a number of issues that are currently plaguing the island of Nevis.
Mr. Eversley Pemberton, who currently serves as pastor of the New Testament Church of God in Bath Village gave the opening remarks. He noted that numerous events and incidents that have transpired in Nevis over the past year have prompted Ministers of Religion to meet to discuss these issues. He indicated that they met in order to examine and to make a concerted effort to find solutions to address some of these issues. Mr. Pemberton stated, “We do realize that tranquility, peace, safety prosperity and happiness are the rights of all the people of Nevis and no one at anytime should be denied or deprived of those indulgences.”
Pastor Pemberton also claimed that unity among our people is of maximum importance if we are going to have a stable and prosperous island. He stated that during the consultation they identified some areas which they believed should receive urgent attention. The pastor said such areas include, ‘The deviant behaviour of school children, the continuation of crime and criminal activities and the rhetoric that is uttered by our politicians when discussing matters in the House of Assembly’. He claimed that they also looked at the dismissal of employees by the Nevis Island Administration.
Mr. Pemberton said that the church has been approached by persons who felt as though they were wrongfully and unlawfully dismissed and the church is therefore seeking answers why such dismissals have taken place. “We have met with both sides to get a grasp of the situation as to why persons are being terminated.” He noted that the situation is very tense and is of great concern for the opposition party since they are on the receiving end. In closing Mr. Pemberton said, “We will do everything within our powers to solve this political tribalism.”
Chairman of the Nevis Christian Council, Father Alric Francis also gave some brief remarks. He stated that a number of things have contributed to the divisiveness of our country but he is appealing to persons to put aside their irreconcilable differences and come together in reconciliation. The Priest also claimed that the Christian Council has always been impartial to both political parties on the island of Nevis and they are now trying to bring them together in an effort to put a halt to the political turmoil. He stated, “We are expected to act neutrally and impartially to both parties because we represent the Church and Christ so we have to stand in the middle.”
The Priest also indicated that the church is obligated to lead by example and the members as well as its Pastors should seek to live a life that mimics or exemplifies that of Jesus Christ. Father Francis was of the view, that members of the various churches have allowed politics and politicians to dictate their lives instead of following and exemplifying that of Christ. In conclusion, he noted that if we are going to be strong and vibrant as a nation, we have to live together as one people.