Barbados Spiritual Baptists: Social acceptance enhances opportunities for supporting public health
The Spiritual Baptist faith has been present in the Caribbean from about the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. However, the movement only extended to Barbados in 1957 when a Spiritual Baptist preacher, a Barbadian by birth, returned to his native island from Trinidad, where he had been living for several years. The Reverend Granville Williams established the first Spiritual Baptist Church in Barbados and he continued to oversee the church’s development since its inception until his death two years ago. This article describes the evolution of the church’s status over the past 60 years, as seen by both members and non-members of the group, from a marginalized religious group into a settled and accepted denomination. Explication of this transformation phenomenon is also explored through qualitative interviews with Barbadian clergy non-members of the group. The implications of this transformation for the interplay of religion, mental health, and social services in the Caribbean are then discussed.
When Granville Williams was called to higher service by His Father in heaven, he was the anointed Patriarch overseeing a thousand members congregation.
Continue to Rest In Peace Your Excellency Hon. Dr. Granville Williams JP, OHP.