NASSAU, BAHAMAS –The Bahamas Postal Service released four Bahamas Christmas Churches Stamps on November 29, 2018.
The 15 cent value highlights Bethel Baptist Church, Meeting Street, which is the oldest Baptist Church in The Bahamas and was originally founded in 1790, prior to the arrival of the first British Missionaries in 1833.
The land was purchased by Prince Williams and Sambo Scriven (freed slaves) and it is most likely that Prince Williams, a carpenter, built the original wooden chapel named Bethel “Meeting House”. The name “Meeting House” was a careful choice as the law forbade black men from holding positions of leadership within a church. As a venture solely owned and operated by such men, Bethel’s Meeting House was an exception and pioneering.
The 25 cent value depicts St. Agnes Anglican Church Baillou Hill Road, Grants Town. Originally the Anglican Church was essentially an institution of the elitist establishment until 1841, when Deacon Edward Jordan Rodgers of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (SPG), was placed in charge of Grant’s Town and began holding services at the Old African schoolhouse at what is now Market and Cockburn Streets.
Just seven years after the Emancipation Act of 1834, this singular move represented the church’s pastoral and evangelical response to the “New Bahamas” created by the Act.
In 1845, Bishop Spencer of Jamaica, who had responsibility for The Bahamas, arrived in Nassau and dedicated the schoolhouse as a church. Thus, in 1845, St. Agnes Church officially began its historic mission of service to God and man in the Over-the-Hill heartland.
The 50 cent value depicts the Church of God, East Street, Lily of the Valley Corner. The birth of the East Street Cathedral Church of God is synonymous with the emergence of the whole Church of God movement in The Bahamas in 1909. Among the original converts and founding members of the church were Wilmore Eneas and his wife who experienced much persecution, including the destruction of their house by fire.
These problems caused the founders to move first to Fox Hill and then to Bain Town before settling in 1919 at Eneas Jumper Corner off East Street in a new wooden church. The church came to be known as Eneas Jumper Church, hence the street was named after the church.
Later the church moved to its present location. Property was purchased on the corner of East Street and Lily of the Valley Corner where a beautiful stone structure was built and called the Church of God Cathedral.
The 65 cent value depicts the Hillview Seventh-day Adventist Church, Tonique Williams-Darling Highway. It can trace its roots back to 1942 when Haddassah Poitier, then a member of Grants Town SDA Church invited all of the children in the neighbourhood to Friday evening vespers and Branch Sabbath School classes the following day.
Close by another Grants Town SDA member, Sister Evangeline Rolle also conducted classes in her home. Soon after the classes combined. Over time the company grew and organized into a church in 1952. When the membership outgrew that edifice, foundation was laid in 1976 and in 1986 the new but incomplete church was occupied.