JAMAICA BIBLE SEMINARY (Jamaica Christian Services, Inc.)


In 1945 the Jamaica Bible Seminary was established by Luke D. Elliott (president from 1945-1950) to provide leadership for the growing number of churches. The first group of students graduated in 1949. By then New Testament Christianity was taking hold, but the hurricane of 1951 destroyed most of the church buildings. At about the same time, many Jamaicans left for England to help in the rebuilding process after the war. This mass movement of people included many of the leaders and young converts. Most of the leaders and the buildings were never replaced and several of those congregations died.
Several missionaries including the Donald Fream (president from 1950-1959), Jim Herget and Woodrow Phillips families, came to oversee the work. When Donald Fream took over responsibilities for the Mission in January of 1951, there were 4 young men enrolled in the school which was located then in Ewarton, in the center of the island. Don Fream served as President of the Seminary and teacher from 1950-1959. Faculty included: Woodrow Phillips, Grayson Ensign, Jim Herget and a Jamaican evangelist A.R.A. Hepburn. The Seminary was later moved to Kingston, the Island's capital, in 1952, and later the large tract of land was purchased in Constant Spring and a building was built. Rental property was used until this purchase. There were over 31 students trained. The seminary closed in 1959 when most of these missionaries returned to the U.S. Albert Thompson and R.A. Walker as well as Harold Hill (now deceased) are some of the oldest graduates of the Jamaica Bible Seminary, still serving the Island Churches.
On August 8, 1994 Dr. Danny R. Gabbard (president from 1994-1998) re-opened formal Christian Training, under the eldership of First Christian Church in Cocoa, FL. It was then called Jamaica Christian College. The first class had sixteen students with over 52 students enrolled for various classes in the last 10 years. There were 12 instructors involved over the next 4 years, among these were Winston Scott, Scott Sheridan, Jim Spinnati, Darrell Combs, Harry Stevenson, Wayne Lowen, David Hull, Matthew Hartford, Glenn Bourne, Jim Book, John Waddell, and Danny Gabbard.
On Feb 13, Dr. Richard Geringswald was asked and later confirmed Mar.10, 1998, by Dewey Garner of the American Advisory Board of Jamaica Christian Missions. Bro. Richard accepted the Presidency of the college, and has co-ordinated the efforts of over 43 teachers (including 5 Jamaicans) and professors to teach over the next several years. Twenty teachers are from the Instrumental Churches of Christ, 3 from the Non-instrumental Churches of Christ and 20 teachers are from the Independent Christian Churches. Twenty hold from Master's degrees to Doctorates & 7 are presidents of their own colleges. The curriculum has been expanded with plans for 6 weekly seminars per year and regular weekly classes on Homiletics and English. Special Ladies' Rallies and Teas and Seminars on establishing Christian Schools are continuing. This program is under a Board of Directors and called Jamaica Christian Services, Inc. in FLorida, U.S.A. There are over 83 students who have attended and more than 24 degrees, certificates or diplomas granted. The program offers an Associate of Sacred Literature and a Bachelor of Sacred Literature for those who have completed the CXC level of high school or its equivalency before enrolling. Others receive certificate or diploma levels. Additional extension schools and leadership classes have been held in Nassau, Bahamas, Grand Bahama Bible Institute near Freeport, Mineral Heights (Roger Scott), Mandeville (Patrick Parchment), Ewarton (R.A. Walker), Top Hill (Donovan Bent) and Gayle (Delroy McCarty) adding many part time students to the enrollment. College students are currently involved with Basic Schools in Mineral Heights (170 students), Top Hill (15 students), and a future school in Macca Tree.
In the 21st Century the New Testament Church is alive and well. It can boast of 110 churches (53 Instrumental and 65 Non-Instrumental), 15 basic schools and kindergartens (and several new childrens' ministries are opened every year), 1 day care, 3 youth camps, 1 children's home, 1 Vocational School, 1 Bible College, 1 School of Preaching, several extention and satellite schools and an estimated membership of 14,000-17,000 on an island of 2 1/2 million population. (last updated Aug. 15, 2005) The Bible College is turning out fine Christian men who are able to take the reins of many of the churches. The future looks bright for the cause of Christ in Jamaica!



Jamaica Evangelism & More JCC Links

Virtual Jamaica!

Jamaica Gleaner Newspaper

Johnson Outreach Missions


Dr. Richard J. Geringswald, President




Continued on Jamaica Evangelism & More JCC Links for teaching and class schedule and special needs. NEWEST WEB PAGE FOR 2005, cut and paste: www.JBSeminary.com with Kevin Pressley, webmaster.