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The memories of this honourable man of God that served the Members of the Sons of God Apostolic Spiritual Baptist Church in Barbados and the many lives he touched including me. He will continue to me in my thoughts and memory. A minute with him was like a week and he did not fail to teach the word lined with the history.

Members of the Sons of God Apostolic Spiritual Baptist Church Worshipping, Barbados Pocket Guide
Members of the Sons of God Apostolic Spiritual Baptist Church Worshipping, Barbados Pocket Guide

Spiritual Baptist
The Spiritual Baptist Church has its roots in Africa but has been present in the Caribbean from about the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. This religious movement was able to find its way to the beautiful island of Barbados in 1957 through the conveyance of the Reverend Granville Williams. After the establishment of the first Spiritual Baptist Church in Barbados, the Reverend Granville Williams has been responsible for its operations since its commencement on the island. The evolution of the church has been quite significant over the last fifty (50) years as they continue to grow in numbers.

Their style of worship is very much on a par with that of the African way which involves seemingly endless movement, hand-clapping, rhythmic dancing, singing and intense praying. The beautiful shores of Barbados come alive when new members are accepted into this faith as an immersion of the entire body into the crystal-clear waters of the island takes place surrounded by supportive church members. Once accepted into the faith, members go through a period of isolation for seven (7) to ten (10) days in an effort to cleanse the mind through prayer and purification.

In Barbados, the Spiritual Baptist group is also known as the ‘Tie heads’, primarily because of their religious attire which consists of cloths tied around the heads of both men and women at formal and semi-formal occasions. Members wear colourful gowns with each colour being representative of something symbolic. White for purity; cream for spirituality; blue for holiness; gold for royalty; green for strength; brown for happiness; silver-grey for overcoming; pink for success and red for strength as well as symbolising the Blood of Christ.

Involvement in Crop Over

The Ceremonial Delivery of the Last Canes is a traditional event, celebrated by folk singing and dancing, which marks the closure of the annual sugar cane harvest in Barbados. At this ceremony, honour and glory is given to God for the coming of yet another harvest. Today, the Last Canes signal the beginning of Crop Over Festival which lasts for a three (3) week period.

The last load of canes arrive by way of donkey cart as per days of yore and is blessed by the Spiritual Baptist Church. Inclusive in the ceremony are Donkey cart rides, traditional Barbadian games, recreations of eighteenth (18th) century plantation existence, the Barbados Landship, cultural organisations and youth groups.

A major highlight of the Ceremonial Delivery of the Last Canes is the crowning of the King and Queen of the Sugar Cane Crop Industry. The festive occasion continues with a traditional fair complete with local music and delicacies.

The Spiritual Baptist Church has played an essential role in the Crop Over season by blessing the canes and the festival at what was the Ceremonial Delivery Of The Last Canes.

Author: Godfrey Gregg

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