Adventist church members enjoyed some powerful and soul-stirring music by Jamaican gospel singer and song writer Carey Sayles last Saturday in George Town.
The musical experience for church members was made even more moving by Mr. Sayles as he related snippets of his life story during the three-hour free concert in support of the church’s youth ministry.
The congregation clapped, waved, sang and showed their delight in response to the high-energy style medley of songs over the course of the afternoon.
Mr. Sayles story was one of particular determination and deep faith despite often devastating obstacles, rising today as he has to the heights of a musical career and establishing himself as a professional in the Jamaica public service. Growing up in the Arnett Garden area of Trench Town, Mr. Sayles survived to tell the tale of several near-death experiences: “I saw men killed and most of my friends turning to guns,” he said, “but because of my mother’s and stepfather’s care and guidance, and the protection of my Heavenly Father, I was able to resist the forces of evil.”
He said instead of succumbing to the pressures of an environment that has had such deadly impacts on young lives, today he is a graduate of the Mandeville-headquartered Northern Caribbean University, with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He is now a supervisor at the Jamaica National Housing Trust.
During Saturday’s service, Mr. Sayles related what he classed as divine intervention in enabling the Sayles’ family to expand with the addition of two children, despite doctors’ grim prognoses regarding his wife’s health.
As a result of these real life experiences, he could testify, he said, to God’s continuing interventions in his life.
Joining his church’s children’s choir when he was just six years old, he moved on to sing in youth choirs, establishing himself as a young up and coming talent. Notably, he later became the lead singer for the Maranatha Ministry Group, a group of Christian singers from Trench Town and other Adventist churches.
Today, he ministers to people at crusades, churches, concerts and various community programs across Jamaica and internationally. His music ministry has taken him to Bermuda, Trinidad, and the United States. He had also made previous visits to the Cayman Islands.
Camecia Barrett, youth leader at George Town Adventist Church, said the afternoon’s program was an aspect of her department’s observance of Youth Month.
She said her department had set the tone for youth initiatives early in 2017 with the development of a “prayer scroll” on which were inscribed the names of youth no longer attending. The emphasis on the church, community’s youth and family also included monthly “prayer walk” visitations and Bible studies in the central George Town community.
The afternoon concert also included performances by local individual and group singers such as Courtney McCook, Rachel Ebanks, Women of Purpose, the twelve-member Andante, Shanneilla Campbell, Melodicx and Andrew Ramdon. Camile Beckford-Johnson and Joshua Lawrence were the announcers.