Emerging from humble beginnings, the Presbyterian Church of Boatswain Bay, with its motto “Know God, Love God, Serve God,” recently celebrated its 85th anniversary.
The church was started as a Sunday school on Nov. 23, 1930 by the late Samuel Osbert Ebanks, better known as Mr. Bertie, and his late sister Elizabeth Ebanks, known as Miss Liz.
Mr. Ebanks was inspired to start the school, a very long, hot and dusty three miles on foot from West Bay, as a way to spread Christian knowledge and to serve the Presbyterian church.
At that time, only a narrow winding footpath connected Boatswains Bay to West Bay, a trek groups of Boatswains Bay residents made once a week to do their Saturday shopping, and to sell or barter their produce.
In 1937, the modest school, which had until then been operating under a sea grape tree on the property of Uncle Billy Allen, moved into the School House on the Hill.
In 1957, the congregation moved into its own church building and in 1970 relocated to the current building. That move in 1970 was to make room for classes for the disabled, which was the start of the Lighthouse School.
To mark the church’s 85th anniversary over the Nov. 21, 2015 weekend, church members gathered at the Centennial Towers, site of Mr. Bertie’s former home, then walked along Town Hall Road to the Boatswain Bay Presbyterian Church to commemorate the journey taken in the church’s early days.
The congregation also followed up with commemorative services and events.