Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 29th 2015 Contents We are Spiritual Baptists, but we do
not all believe in the same things in
the first place, alright?
Dr De Peza, it is no secret that the
Baptists were perceived as strong sup-
porters of the now Opposition PNM
and I could distinctly recall demon-
strations by your faith in support of
that party. Did that result in any par-
ticular benefits from the PNM?
Aligning ourselves with politicians
is not a good thing and it has not
worked for us. It has not helped us.
What has happened over the years,
from very early, we recognised we were
being used all the time,
that people saw the
as a good catch-
ment area for
votes and for the
were poor peo-
ple in the
of the country,
they were not
And as a result of their socio-eco-
nomic standing the politicians were
able to fool them and have them follow
them with the promise of a dream...
the dream never came to fruition.
Dr De Peza, with a general election
on the horizon, do you believe it would
be possible for Baptists to be so used
this time around?
Well, I think all the political parties
have a share of the Baptist community
now (another round of laughter) so that
image of one party support has def-
initely gone, and I guess we are more
independent and have a greater under-
standing of politics.
There are those who will support
whatever party they feel they would
get some benefit from, and religion is
not supposed to be put into a corner
The bad news...?
The main issue in this regard is that
in spite of our freedom to practice our
faith, Baptists are still being stigma-
tised especially by some employ-
ers...those in the public and pri-
Is it your belief, "Teacher" De Peza, that there
should be one voice for the Baptists as is the case
with some of the major religious bodies in the coun-
Yes. We should and we have made some attempts
to do that. Do you remember the situation with the
Baptist primary school in Maloney, where a number
of us came together and we actually called ourselves
"The United Voice" (chucking) of Spiritual Baptist
Dr De Peza, how is that school progressing today?
Well, that school is a ticklish issue in that while
it carries the name Spiritual Baptist school it was
given to an individual and not to the body of the
faith, so that when it was being handed over the
major body of the faith was not called in, they are
not part of that institution.
There was an issue with the principal who has
since retired and promised all her benefits from the
Ministry of Education and we were able to get that
under control, but the whole management of the
school is being investigated. Clevon, it is a thorny
issue and as the matter is in the court, I will not go
there at this time because we are mainly interested
in the welfare of the pupils and their education.
OK, moving on. Dr De Peza, in years gone by not
so long ago, it was the perception that the Baptist
church needed to come together and, in fact, a for-
mer prime minister chased away a delegation of
the faith and he told them to get themselves under
one umbrella and come back to him as a united
group for assistance from the Government.
Yes, and that was just a way not to give us anything,
that was a ploy, because if we look at the religious
landscape of T&T, other denominations have more
than one representative group so why try to pin us
down on such a non-essential request?
Why is it you were demanding that we as a people,
who in the first case did not start off as one, didn t
have one leader? That said, "Okay, we are going to
establish the Baptist church," but it started with per-
sons getting their spiritual calling in different places
and planting their churches, growing their respective
We see the need for coming together but you must
understand there are those who would be of a different
persuasion. When you have these differences in fun-
damental doctrine, you will have differences in the
organisation and in uniting of the organisation.
From Page A10
March 29, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
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Left with unfulfilled promises...
'Politicians fooled Baptist
members in the past'
Rev Dr Hazel Ann
Gibbs De Peza
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