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A quote from the book: "On account of the size of the Handbook, it has been necessary to leave out the interesting accounts of the early history of the Churches, for which the reader is referred to the Handbook of 1891 . . ."


The Presbyterian Church of Jamaica dates from 1823. In that year, the Scottish Missionary Society which in 1796, was formed by Presbyterians of various sections in Edinburgh, received a request from several proprietors of estates in Jamaica to send out a Minister to instruct their slaves. The society had, in 1800, sent to the island the Rev. Joseph Bethune, a Minister of the Church of Scotland, with two Catechists. Three weeks after they landed in Kingston, Mr. Clark, one of the Catechists, died of a malignant fever then raging, and very soon after, Mr. Bethune followed.

In 1847, the Scottish Missionary Society handed over all its Church buildings and congregations to the care of the Synod of the United Presbyterian Church, and these, together with the others since gathered or added, in all now sixty-two, form the Presbyterian Church of Jamaica. They are scattered over ten of the parishes of the island. Besides what are counted regularly organized congregations, there are 19 out-stations where meetings are conducted for the worship of God and religious instruction.

The Synod of 1894 resolved to establish a mission to the East Indian immigrants in the Island. In September of that year, East Indian converts who had been trained as Catechists in Trinidad by the mission of the Presbyterian Church of Canada arrived, and the mission was commenced. There are now four such Catechists at work. Mr. Jonathan Rajkumar Lall, at Ewing's Caymanas, St. Catherine, Mr. Simon Siboo at Paul Island, Westmoreland, and Mr. Chedami at Linstead, St. Catherine. Mr. Kangaloo at Kingston, and two more are on their way from Trinidad. Miss Croll, late Zenana Missionary in India, labours among the East Indian women in Kingston, Hope and Mona. Two East Indian Churches have been built, and a third is being erected. There are 92 Church members, and there have been 216 baptized. Some Schools have been established for the education of East Indian children. This Mission is superintended by the Rev. W. F. Martin, M.A., who from a residence of ten years in India knows Hindi and understands the East Indian character.

The Official Organ of the Synod is "The Presbyterian," a monthly religious periodical, edited by the Rev. J. Luke, Christiana P.O., and Rev. J. Hunter, M.A., Kingston.

In 1884, the Presbyterian Incorporating and Vesting Law was passed by which all of the mission property is held in trust. Corporation members are Rev. W. Y. Turner, M.D., Covener, and T. F. Roxburgh, Esq., A. D. Cadenhead, Esq., Rev. R. Johnston, M.A., B.D., Rev. H. Scott, Rev. G. McNeill, Rev. J. McDonald. The General Board appointed by Synod consists of Rev. J. F. Gartshore, M.A., Chairman, T. F. Roxburgh, honorary member, A. D. Cadenhead, Esq., ex officio, Revs. R. Johnston, B.D., G. McNeill, J. Hunter, M.A., J. D. Robertson, H. Scott, H. H. Hamilton, Jas. Macnee, J. McDonald, J. W. Grant, T. D. Macnee.

On the roll of the Synod there are 62 congregations, and 30 ordained Ministers, of whom 21 have been sent by the Mother Church, and 11 are natives of this island. There are 32 Catechists and 397 ruling Elders in the various congregations. The communicants at 31 October, 1898, numbered 11,133; the candidates, 1,693; Sunday Schools, 99; Sabbath classes, 896; adults in these classes, 2,631; children, 8,587; teachers, 905; Day Schools, 78; Scholars on Roll, 8,053; average attendance, 5,011. There is Church accommodation for nearly 20,000 persons. The Moderator for the year 1898-99 is the Rev. J. M. Macnee, Lucea. The Clerk for the Synod is the Rev. Dr. W. Y. Turner, Castleton, P. O.


The Northern Presbytery:

J. W. Grant, Falmouth, Falmouth

John Smith, Bellevue and Reid's Friendship, Falmouth

L. Miller, Hampden and Somerton, Hampden

Q. R. Noble, Mount Zion, Little River

Thos. D. McNee, Montego Bay, Montego Bay

A. H. Hamilton, Mount Horeb and Mount Hermon, Bethel Town

The Western Presbytery:

T. B. Prentice, Sav.-la-Mar, Friendship, Stirling and Little London, Sav.-la-Mar

John McDonald, Riverside and Cocoon, Mount Moriah

Jas. MacNee, Lucea, Jerico, Green Island and Negril, Lucea

J. F. Gartshore, M.A., Brownsville and Carlisle Memorial, Flint River

H. A. U. Powell, Askenish and Maryland, Lucea

The Southern Presbytery:

Robert Johnston, M.A., B.D., New Broughton, Grove Town and Alligator Pond, Cross Keys

J. W. Shaw, Marley Hill, Alligator Pond

W. F. Martin, M.A., Ebenezer, Spur Tree

George McNeil, Mount Olivet and Baillieston, Walderston

James Luke, Bryce Church, Christiana

W. S. Smith, M.A., Victoria Town and Longwood, Milk River

The Northeastern Presbytery:

Henry Scott, Port Maria and Hampstead, Hampstead

S. McDowell, Carron Hall and Seafield, Pear Tree Grove

Edward Ross, M.A., Salem, Eliot and Camberwell, Albany

H. H. Hamilton, Goshen, Lauriston and Jamieson, Gayle

T. Grant, Rose Hill and Brainerd, Richmond

I. N. D. Gordon, Cedar Valley, Linstead

The Southeastern Presbytery:

John Hunter, M.A., St. Andrew's Church, Kingston

S. R. Brathwaite, St. John's, Kingston

C. A. Wilson, Mt. Carmel and Light-of-the-Valley, Chapelton

Jas. Ballantine, Chapelton, Chapelton

Jas. D. Robertson, Ewing's Caymanas, Spanish Town

W. Y. Turner, M.D., Chesterfield, Brandon Hill and Castleton, Castleton

J. E. Martin, George Town, Gd. Cayman, West Bay and Prospect, Gd. Cayman

T. Redpath, Bodden Town and East End (Green Bay), Gd. Cayman


These churches were founded by the London Missionary Society which commenced its operations in Jamaica in 1834. When the Society relinquished its responsibility for the maintenance of the Churches in the Island, they adopted the Congregational or Independent form of Church Government; and, in 1876, the Congregational Union of Jamaica was formed. In connection with this Union there are 24 Churches, and a number of outstations and cottage meeting houses. The principal preaching stations are given below. There are 8 ordained Ministers, 12 Catechists, 3,438 Church members (communicants), 399 candidates and inquirers. The adherents number some 10,000. In connection with the Sabbath Schools, there are 32 schools, 191 Teachers, and over 2,000 scholars. The educational work of the Churches is represented by 30 Public Day Schools, in which there are over 3,079 children, with an average attendance of 1,866.


Rev. Wm. Priestnal, Kingston, Shortwood and Rosedale

Rev. James Watson, Porus, Redberry, Trinity, Mount Airey and Richmond Park

Rev. G. Bailey, Mandeville, New Green, Broad Leaf, Royal Flat, Richmond, Heart's-Ease and Harry Watch

Rev. James Watson, Davyton, Blue Mountain, Peace River and Bellefield

Rev. C. H. Baker, Four Paths, Brixton Hill, Rock, Woodside, Content and Pleasant Valley

Rev. Alex. Eastwood, Chapelton, Bread-Nut Bottom, Mount Liberty, Alexandria, Collington, Mount Tabor and Taremount

Rev. W. B. Esson, Mount Zion, Rutlands, Tabernacle and Long Look

Rev. A. P. Thomas, Wilbury, Lucky Valley, Mount Effort and Top Hill

Rev. G. H. Lea, First Hill, Dry Harbour and Claremont


The West Indian Methodist Connexion in Jamaica results from labours of the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society. Its history in Jamaica dates from 1789. After Emancipation, there was a rapid spread of the Society's work in the island and then came a period of depression running side by side with the unfavourable condition of the commerce and agriculture of the country. But whilst declensions in numbers took place, and Chapels and Schools ceased to be built and some of them fell into partial decay, being frail structure that they had been hurriedly erected to meet the pressing demands of the times, there is evidence that vital godliness had not passed away from the Churches formed by the Society, and also that piety was not only deeper but rising in intelligence. Features of domestic life and social manners, which are the legitimate outcome of Christian influence, now exist that certify to the fruitfulness of past labours and encourage to future enterprise. Since 1870 there has been a steady rise and development in all departments of the Society's Church work in the country and the report for 1897 gives 23,338 full and accredited members; 1,674 probationers, and 13,856 Sabbath scholars; 150 Chapels and 110 other preaching places. There are 150 Wesleyan Methodist Chapels in the Conference. The best are those in Kingston, namely, Coke Chapel and Wesley Chapel. Besides these, there is a third well-built Chapel in the city called Ebenezer that will accommodate 800 persons. In the towns of St. Ann's Bay, Falmouth, Montego Bay, Morant Bay, Port Antonio, Buff Bay, Port Morant, Brown's Town, Stewart Town, Mandeville and Sav.-la-Mar, there are also good Chapels. In the country districts, the Chapels at Moneague, Williamsfield, Bluefields, Ramble, Upper Hopewell in Hanover, Duanvale, Dry Harbour Mountains, Stewart Town, Epworth, Oracabessa, Newstead, Hampstead, and Lionel Town, are very neat and substantial structures which do credit to the country as well as the denomination. Shortly after Emancipation, the very commendable eagerness to overtake the religious needs of the times gave rise, as already intimated, to many poor and unenduring structures for Chapels, and with in recent years much money and energy have gone to increase the number of Chapels and to replace the old and frail ones. These later buildings are altogether an advance in durability and symmetry on the old structures. The sittings provided are 48,000. Further, to assist in meeting the religious needs of the population, there are numerous places in out-lying districts where the Ministers preach but which are not returned as Chapels, nor do the worshippers in these places appear in the returns. On the Census Sabbath of 1881, there were present at the morning services in 100 Chapels in the island 24,000 worshippers, giving an average of 240 persons to each congregation in the Island for that day. The evening service is in some places better attended than the morning, and, as a rule, the congregation is almost entirely composed of persons other than those assembled at morning service. The Conference is divided into five District Synods, thus Kingston, Montego Bay, St. Ann, Morant Bay, Haiti and Santo Domingo.


Rev. G. Lockett

Rev. John Duff

Rev. W. C. Murray, D.D.

Rev. S. L. Lindo

Rev. T. R. Picot


Rev. T. M. Geddes, President of the Conference, Kingston

Rev. W. C. Murray, D.D., Vice-President, Brown's Town

Rev. John A. McIntosh, Duncans

Rev. C. M. Clark, Morant Bay

Rev. G. Lockett, Governor Barbican High School for Girls, Kingston

Rev. A. H. Aguilar (also Editor of "The Methodist Messenger"), Spanish Town

Rev. J. Duff, Secretary of the Conference, Montego Bay

Rev. H. T. Page, Cave Valley

Rev. W. J. Williams, Education Sec'y. and Governor York Castle High School, York Castle P.O.

Rev. A. M. Smith, Gordon Town

Rev. W. Baillie, Sav.-la-Mar

Rev. N. A. Baquie, Chapelton

Rev. R. M. Parnther, Claremont

Rev. S. L. Lindo, Port Antonio

Rev. S. T. Brown, Chapel Secretary, May Pen

Rev. M. Barker, Cave Valley

Rev. W. Griffin, Kingston

Rev. C. Reynolds, Williamsfield

Rev. W. H. Atkin, St. Ann's Bay

Rev. A. F. Lightbourn, Ramble

Rev. J. Grant, Falmouth

Rev. H. C. Quinlan, Manchioneal

Rev. G. H. B. Hay, Kingston

Rev. J. C. A. Smith, Mountainside

Rev. George S. Lamb, Kingston

Rev. C. C. Wallace, Port Royal

Rev. A. Lambert, Black River

Rev. W. J. Maund, Bath

Rev. H. G. Clerk, Retreat

Rev. A. L. Johnson, Yallahs

Rev. T. A. Glasspole, Guy's Hill

Rev. D. D. Parnther, B.A., Lucea

Rev. J. Kissock Braham, B.D., Glengoffe

Rev. T. M. Sherlock, Buff Bay

Rev. R. W. McLarty, Port Morant

Rev. R. H. Sloley, Montego Bay

Rev. M. C. Surgeon, Ulster Spring

Rev. E. G. Cooke, Linstead

Rev. T. P. Russell, Moneague

Rev. A. W. Geddes, Panama, U.S.C.

Rev. T. R. Picot, Cape Haiti, Haiti

Rev. W. S. Smith, Port au Prince, Haiti

Rev. A. Cresser, Puerto Plata, Haiti

Rev. Auguste Albert, Les Cayes, Haiti

Rev. Henri Belloncle, Jeremie, Haiti

Rev. E. Mair, Samana, St. Domingo

Rev. J. James, Ditto

Rev. William E. Mears, Samana, St. Domingo

Rev. W. J. Jacobs, Colon, U.S.C.


The United Methodist Free Churches were formed in 1857 by the union in England of two previously existing bodies - the Wesleyan Methodist Association, dating from 1835, and the Wesleyan Reformers, dating from 1849 - both of which Bodies were branches from the Wesleyan Methodist Churches. The Conference, or governing body of the Wesleyan Churches, at that time consisted entirely of ministers, the laity being entirely excluded from its deliberations, and having no share in its proceedings or authority. Several disruptions took place as protests against this exclusively clerical, self-elected, non representative form of church government and administration, and many minor Methodist bodies were formed in which the laity were given representation. The United Methodist Free Churches now have a membership of over 90,000 of whom over 11,000 are in the colonies and Foreign Mission Field. The Mission in Jamaica dates from 1836, and at present consists of ten groups of churches comprising 43 individual churches and mission stations. At nearly all the stations a day school is maintained which in addition to Government Grants receives aid from the Missionary Committee in England.



Rev. Francis Bavin, Gen'l. Superintendent and Chairman of the District, Gordon Town, Constitution Hill, and Rock Hall, Kingston

Rev. R. H. McLaughlin, Vice-Chairman, Richmond

Rev. Jas. Roberts, Secretary, Gordon Town

Mr. W. M. Davis, Treasurer, Kingston

Rev. William Griffith, Ewarton (St. Catherine), Kingston


Mr. J. Z. Johnson, Catechist, Stony Hill, Mount Prospect and Cavaliers, Stony Hill

Mr. G. L. Young, Ditto

Mr. J. P. Leigh, Catechist, Content, Bethuel and Belmont, Lawrence Tavern


Rev. J. I. Kirschmann, Mizpah and Allman Hill, Lawrence Tavern

Rev. E. J. C. McPherson (Assistant Minister), Brown's Hall, Doddington, Old Works, Mount Pleasant, Kentish, Mountain River and Blue Hole, Bartons


Rev. R. H. McLaughlin, Mount Regale, Lewisburg, Rock River, Marlborough, Job's Hill and Richmond, Richmond

Rev. S. E. Williams, Enfield, Pontefract and Devon, Enfield


Rev. A. J. Ellis, Claremont, Walker's Wood, Brittonville, Beecher Town and Golden Grove, Claremont


Rev. J. K. Philips (Assistant Minister), Frankfield, Crooked River, Unity and Desire, Frankfield


"The Christian Church" or "The Church of the Disciples of Christ," represents in Jamaica a religious movement which was commenced in America in the year 1809. The originator of this movement was Alexander Campbell, who, deploring the division of the Church of Christ into its many sections, earnestly advocated the necessity and possibility of organized "Christian Union by a return to the simple religion of Jesus. and nothing ought to be required as a term of union, communion and cooperation that is not as old as the New Testament." The work in Jamaica was begun in the year 1858 by the Rev. J. O. Beardslee, under the auspices of the American Christian Missionary Society. He established a Church in Kingston and opened several Mission Stations in the mountain districts, but after the departure of Mr. Beardslee from the island, the work was suspended for several years. In 1874, the Christian Women Board of Mission was formed in Indianapolis, Indiana, by a few Christian women who felt a desire to take a definite share in the work of spreading the Gospel and the upbuilding of Christian Churches on New Testament principles. Their enquiries brought to their knowledge the work that had been done and abandoned in Jamaica, and they felt called upon to make the resuscitation and extension of this work their first enterprise. Since then, the work has been continued. There are now twenty Churches, grouped in seven Districts, and constituting "The Jamaica Association of Christian Churches."


Rev. C. E. Randall (President), Kingston, Torrington, Kingston

Rev. A. C. McHardy (Secretary), Mount Olivet, Bloxburgh, Bushy Park and Mount Zion, Bull Bay

Rev. Neil McLeod (Vice President), King's Gate, New Bethel and Carmel, Halfway Tree

Rev. A. W. Meredith, Providence, Chesterfield, Flint River and Mamby Vale, Castleton

Rev. G. D. Purdy, Oberlin, Manning's Hill and Lucky Hill, Lawrence Tavern

Rev. H. Morris, Bethel and Airy Mount, Highgate

Rev. P. M. Robinson, Fairy Hill and Berea, Buff Bay


The Protestant Episcopal Church of the Unitas Fratum, or United Brethren, commonly called Moravians (from the fact that her original seats were in Bohemia and Moravia), commenced its labours in Jamaica as far back as 1754, in which year the Rev. Zacharias Caries and two other Missionaries settled on the Bogue Estate, in northeastern St. Elizabeth. Several other stations were begun, and nursed with persistent patience; but the existence of slavery and the opposition to their labours rising out of it, proved an effectual barrier to the enlargement of their work. In the face of great difficulties, they and their successors held onto their undertaking for 84 years, until the emancipation of the slaves left them at liberty to extend their borders. At the present time, the Church in Jamaica has twenty principal stations, besides out-stations. Most of these are in the western end of the island, chiefly in Manchester, St. Elizabeth and Westmoreland; their operations extend into St. James and Clarendon, and in 1893 a congregation was organized in Kingston. The number of communicants at the close of 1897 was 7,324, with a total membership of 17,060. The number of Sunday School Scholars was 6,177. There were 20 first-class, 42 second-class and 12 third-class Day Schools in connection with the Church, attended by 8,851 Scholars, taught by 51 male and 23 women Teachers. The church has for many years maintained two Training Colleges, one for males at Fairfield, the other for women at Bethlehem. Within recent years these Colleges have received Government aid. The Fairfield College was begun in 1839 under the direction of the late Rev. Mr. Holland, and has been successfully carried on ever since. It has always enjoyed the advantage of an able teaching staff, and the teachers turned out have as a rule been most successful in their profession. The present staff consists of the Rev. Joseph Craig, Director, with Messrs. Weiss, Lewison and Black, as Assistants. There were 29 students in attendance in 1896. The Training College for women was begun at Bethabara in 1861, and for many years was the only institution for the training of women in the island. Owing to various circumstances, it was temporarily removed to Salem in Westmoreland in 1888, but has now been established in new and commodious buildings at Bethlehem, in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The College had 24 students in attendance in 1896. The teaching staff consist of the Rev. S. C. Ashton, Director; Mrs. Weiss, Miss Walder and Miss Glanville. The Church in Jamaica is governed by the Conference which meets, as a rule, once a year. The General Mission Board of the Church has, however, a final voice. The Church is directed, between Conference, by its Executive, the Western Provincial Conference, the members of which are the Rev. F. P. Wilde, the Rev. S. C. Ashton, and the Rev. Augustus Westphal. There is at present no resident Bishop.



Jonathan Reinke, 25 Hanover Street, Kingston


Frank P. Wilde, B.D., Chairman of the Conference, Bethabara, Newport

Geo. H. Lopp, Bethany, Mile Gully

Archibald Clarke, Broadleaf, Porus

Augustus Westphal, B.D., Fairfield, Spur Tree

Walter Hauk, Mizpah, Shooter's Hill

J. Ernest Harvey, Nazareth, Maidstone

Frederick Smith, Moravia, Christiana

Wm. Reid, Ass't., Patrick Town, Newport

Joseph Walker, Ass't., Beulah, Christiana

Joseph Craig, Director of College, Fairfield, Spurtree


John Meek, Ass't., Aberdeen, Siloah

S. C. Ashton, Bethlehem, Malvern

James Carnagie, Carisbrook, Lacovia

Hy. Cambridge, Ass't., Dober, Black River

Jas. Gale, Eden, Balaclava

Richard Gale, Fulneck, Middle Quarters

F. Weiss, Lititz, Watson's Hill

Peter Larsen, Springfield and Newton, Springfield

Assistant (no name provided), Ballard's Valley, Watson's Hill


Wm. Morris, Beaufort, Darliston

Samuel Allen, Carmel, Newmarket

No Minister (vacant), Salem, Bluefields


C. P. Watson, Irwin Hill, Montego Bay


H. Cambridge, Jr. (Ass't.), Ritchies, Spaldings

J. J. Seiler, Emeritus, Newport, Black River

R. Campbell, Emeritus, Black River


The above-named Union was organized on the 16th day of January, 1897, by Independent Baptist Ministers of the Island. The Union has at present 18 Churches socially connected under its management and has made good progress since its consolidation. The principal place of worship is Kingston. It was established on the 23rd August, 1885, by the late Rev. Thomas Austin.


Rev. M. B. Campbell, Chairman

Rev. A. A. Austin, Secretary

Rev. W. W. Durrant

Rev. J. Bains

Rev. R. C. Quarrell

Rev. H. T. Lorman

Rev. A. F. Webb


The Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, situated in Princess Street, was, with all the Scrolls of the Law, massive silver bells and silver vessels, entirely consumed in the fire of December 1882. The English and German Synagogue in Orange Street was also destroyed on the same occasion, but the walls were left standing and the paraphernalia were saved. The larger part of these Congregations united themselves under the designation of the Amalgamated Congregation of Israelites and raised funds for the building of a Synagogue in the upper part of Duke Street, the site being purchased for 800 pounds. The foundation stone was laid in August, 1885, and a handsome brick building was erected, which was consecrated on the evening of the 19th of July 1888. On the recommendation of the Chief Rabbi of the British Empire, the Congregation appointed the Rev. S. Jacobs, formerly of Aria College and Minister of the Newcastle-on-Tyne Congregation, as their Minister. The portion of the Congregation of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue who have not joined the "Amalgamated Israelites" have erected a small but exceedingly neat Synagogue in East Street where service is regularly conducted. The building was erected through the zeal and devotion of the late Mr. David Martin, to whose memory it forms a fitting memorial.

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