Pastors Everett Brown, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica and Aston Barnes, former treasurer of the West Indies Union were among 206 individuals who have been accorded national honors for 2018.
The appointments, which became effective on Jamaica’s Independence Day on Aug. 6, 2018, were presented to them by His Excellency, the Governor General of Jamaica, the Most Honorable Patrick Allen at Kings House on National Heroes Day, in Kingston, Jamaica, on Oct. 15, 2018.
Pastor Brown has been accorded the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander for outstanding contribution to religion, while Elder Barnes received the Order of Distinction in rank of Officer for contribution to the Ministerial Fraternity and to Social Development, Welfare and Philanthropy in Jamaica.
“In accepting this award from the Government of Jamaica, I do so with a sense of humility,” said Brown. “I am fully cognizant of the fact that this national recognition is just a reflection of the many lives that my service and ministry has touched through the opportunities given by the church to serve members and the wider society.”
Pastor Brown has served the church for more than 33 years in pastoral ministry. Over this period, he has served in the Central Jamaica Conference (CJC) as district pastor and evangelist, youth ministries director, executive secretary and president. He has been serving as president of the church since 2010.
Brown has led the CJC in its transition of reorganization in 2002, which has led to the tremendous growth that has taken place in all areas of the conference including the development of its camp site in Camp Verley and the Willowdene Group of schools.
He also serves as Vice-Chairman for the Bible Society of the West Indies, and is a voluntary chaplain for the Jamaica Constabulary Force, and a Justice of the Peace for the parish of St. Catherine.
Pastor Aston Archibald Barnes has served the Adventist Church in various capacities over the past 65 years. He served as teacher, auditor, stewardship director, and treasurer of West Indies Union from 1976-1980.
As a devout Adventist, Barnes conducted successful evangelistic campaigns and was ordained as a minister of religion in November 1984.
In 1989, after 15 of designing, negotiating and seeking approval, Pastor Barnes was able to implement and manage his brain-child—the West Indies Union Capital Development Fund. The Fund operated throughout the Union field and created an interest in other Unions in the Inter-American Division. The fund still stands as a beacon in Jamaica Union (formerly West Indies Union) providing funds for capital expansion and improvements at low interest rates for its churches, medical and educational institutions.
Full of practical knowledge and a passion for seeing to the adequate financing of the mission, Barnes was inspired to author the book: “Church Financing: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.” This book offers a solution for financing education and health care in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and is marketed both local and overseas.
In recognition of his many outstanding contributions to the Church and its institutions, Northern Caribbean University bestowed on him an Honorary Doctorate (LLD) at it graduation ceremony in August 2000.
In November 2000, he retired from active service, but has established the United Trust Fund Limited where he serves as the Chief Administrator.
Aston Barnes is a philanthropist and a man of vision. During his active work life, and even now into retirement, he continues to reach out in compassion and friendship to many persons and is a committed supporter of the deprived and underprivileged.
There are more than 300,000 Seventh-day Adventists worshiping in 738 congregations in Jamaica. The church operates various educational and health institutions, to include one university, eight high Schools, 19 preparatory schools, early childhood centers, one hospital and two clinics.