Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 30th 2017 Contents A10 news
guardian.co.tt Thursday, March 30, 2017
Baptist community not happy with Govt Liberation Day funding:
Minister: We try
Members of the Baptist fraternity say they are
disappointed with the small amount of money
given by Government for today's Spiritual Shouter
Baptist Liberation Day celebrations.
Archbishop Barbara Grey Burke, who is a member
of the Council of Elders Shouter Baptist and the In-
ter-Religious Organisation of T&T (IRO), said she was
dissatisfied with the amount of funding given to the
In an interview yesterday, Burke said that thousands
of dollars were given to other groups and she was being
victimised for her political choices.
"I am not disturbed, I am angry. They gave us $40,000
and give hundreds of thousands to another group. I think
we are discriminated against. I am an UNC supporter.
For my group to celebrate, they gave us that? That was
what happened? I was born in Trinidad am I am treated
a second class citizen in this country, " she added.
Hazel Ann Gibbs-Depeza, chairman of the National
Congress of the Co-operative Spiritual Baptist Church
of T&T, said his organisation would have to look for di-
vine intervention following the small allocation of funds.
The National Congress of the Co-operative Spiritual
Baptist Church will be hosting the baptist liberation
function at Baptist Boulevard, Maloney Lands in
The procession will start at the Boulevard at 8.30 am
and service will begin at 9 am. It will be a morning of
preaching, singing and with a full Baptist service. After
lunch the service will continue, Gibbs-Depeza said.
She said her group received only $20,000 to cater for
3,000 persons who will attend the celebrations.
"They (Government) waited until the last minute and
then shocked us. We have people coming from Barbados,
St Vincent and Grenada. It was a disrespectful sum of
money and we submitted a budget and explanations
of what we were doing," she said.
She said the group should have been given a larger
"They definitely should have given us more than that.
This is a national celebration of a faith downtrodden
by the law and for society to give us $20,000. It is dis-
Gibbs-Depeza said the rentals of the tents, table,
chairs and the toilet was $54,000.
"That is not food and water. So when they give us
$20,000 what we suppose to do with that?"
She said it was requested that the organisation host
one large event and when they did, they were disap-
pointed with the outcome.
"This was the first year to have one function because
we are celebrating the century year and they (Govern-
ment) give us the least amount of money that has ever
been given," she said.
Gibbs-Depeza said the group gave an explanation
for the money they applied for.
"It is a coming together of groups and the significance
of the year then you come and give us $20,000? What
is the message you going to send to us? We are going
to have to depend on divine intervention and we are
putting it out in the public domain that something will
give along the way," she said.
In response yesterday, Minister of Community Devel-
opment, Arts and Culture Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly said
funding was classed by group and based on who applied.
Gadsby-Dolly said the estimated figure for the al-
location was approximately $500,000.
When questioned about the reaction of the members,
the minister said: "We do try in circumstances with
what we have and assist as much as possible."
Shepard Trevorson Moses of the St Francis Spiritual Baptist Church, Caroni
dances during the church service on Independence Square,Port of Spain, recently.
PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
Carmona on Spiritual Shouter
Baptist Day commemoration:
President Anthony Carmona is lamenting that
T&T is "becoming a nation drowning in our inhu-
manity to each other, and we must stem that tide
But he said we must not "lose hope as a nation in our
capacity to get things right and put things right."
In his message marking Spiritual Shouter Baptist Day,
Carmona noted that the Spiritual Baptist movement had
demonstrated that 'hope lives eternal."
He urged citizens to "be inspired by the legacy of the
Shouter Baptist Movement," and to "make a stand where
it is required of us, individually or collectively."
In doing so he said "we must not be swayed or influ-
enced by the fact that we are not part of the proverbial
herd, for very often a just cause is not a popular one,"
He paid tribute to the "power and inspirational ad-
vocacy of the Spiritual Shouter Baptist Faith to change
the world, to make it a better place and to make us better
people." That is something he said which must "not be
lost upon us."
It is to our credit as a nation, he said "that we are far
removed from those unjust philosophies of 1917, when
Shouter Baptists were prohibited from engaging freely
in their religious customs, practices and rituals by way
of the Shouters Prohibition Ordinance Legislation. They
proudly persevered beyond the ridicule and persecution
they suffered. We are eternally grateful to the Spiritual
Baptist community for their message of relentless hope. "
That legacy he said must continue to inspire us as a
nation, pointing out that "Much has been wrought in
this life by the stance adopted by one person or a group
of persons in the face of injustice by the powerful and
The Shouter Baptist Faith, he said, impacted positively
in rural districts and in the suburbia of T&T. He recalled
as a young man growing up in rural T&T, the Shouter
Baptists preaching the word of God and His beneficence
and Hell's damnation.
"Those admonitions, as the bells they rang, resonate
today, relevant and timely," as we celebrate "the perse-
verance and the human resilience of the Spiritual Baptist
Carmona said while everyone knows about transfor-
mational work and struggles of labour icon Tubal Uriah
Buzz Butler, it is not recognized nor fully appreciated,
that it was his resolute Spiritual Baptist faith "which was
the impetus in his struggle for social justice and did not
make him a reed in the wind."
Links Archive March 29th 2017 March 31st 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page