History of The Boulevard Baptist Church

Unveiling of the design for the new Chapel

The construction of the Washington Boulevard in the Pre-Independence era occasioned the build up of communities from Duhaney Park to Dunrobin during the 1960s. A small group of Hanover Street Baptist Church members living off the Washington Boulevard, met regularly at the home of Cyril Palmer. Rev. Luther Gibbs, serving as Pastor of Hanover Street, encouraged these members to become the nucleus for a new congregation for a church to be built on grounds donated by the authorities of Calabar. In 1969 a small building was erected on the property and Boulevard Baptist Church came into being with thirty-three (33) members. So rapid was the growth in membership that six years later, on September 11, 1975 Rev. Luther Gibbs accepted the call to the full-time pastorate of Boulevard. He immediately set his eyes on building a Chapel large enough to accommodate two thousand (2,000) people. The Chapel was built to accommodate large groups like Jamaica Baptist Union (JBU) Assembly. The programmes, right from the start, were organized to facilitate outreach activities like dental care, legal aid, skills training, adult education, counselling, and care basket. Boulevard has also led the way in the establishment of Sunday School for the total population (all age groups) and in Media Ministry.

When the Rev. Luther Gibbs retired in 1990 the church sought and found a young man, Rev. Devon Dick, who was given the responsibility to fill the church by evangelism, develop an effective ministry to the youth and encourage participation of all members. Since then, he has accomplished more than was asked. The outreach of the church has extended to other persons through Jamal-type programmes, scholarships, care basket, singles ministry and Media Ministry. New dimensions focused on research, planning and implementation.

The Mission Statement of the church beckons all members to evangelism and mission. Group members have been on mission to Warsop, Rock River, Point Hill, Cuba, Guyana, England and, with a different focus, to the United States of America.

 

The establishment of adequate parking facilities, the expansion and dedication of the Luther Gibbs Building, the opening of a Library, improvement of lighting facilities, the expansion of improved electronic facilities are steps which herald the growth of a church with a vision.

Ground Breaking Ceremony for the new chapel (1977)

Milestones

1968         Church foundation laid; spearheaded by Rev. Luther Gibbs

1969         Second Sunday, February - Church opened with thirty-three (33) members

1969         July 4, Stonelaying Ceremony

1969         September 14, dedication of Boulevard Baptist Church and Christian Education Centre

1975         July 1, full-time Pastor called

1975         September 11, Rev. Luther Gibbs inducted as Pastor of the church

1976         Construction of the new Sanctuary began

1978         December - Sanctuary completed and officially opened; built to accommodate two thousand (2,000) persons

1980         April 6, launch of Sunday School for all ages.

1982         Launching of Outreach and Enrichment programme including skills training, dental clinic and Care Basket

1989         Celebration of 20th Anniversary

1990         Rev. Luther  Gibbs retired

1990         Rev. Devon Dick inducted as Pastor

1991         Launching of Media Ministry

1991         Opening and dedication of Luther Gibbs Education Centre

1994         Celebration of 25th Anniversary - Overseas mission to Cuba

1994         Launching of Cyril Matherson Scholarship Fund

1995         Introduction of Sports Day

1995         Establishment of library

1996         Focus on Men

1996         Formation of Young Adults Group.

1997         Development of Five-Year strategic plan

1998         Mid-week Lunch Hour Evangelism

1998         Singles’ Ministry launched in May

1998         Prison Ministry launched

1999         30th Anniversary Service held in May

1999         Caretaker’s quarters built, kitchen upgraded and expanded, dental clinic refurnished, expansion of sanitation block

1999         Mission to Haiti, August 4-18, led by Rev. Fritzner Dunois

1999         Early Morning Service began in April on an exploratory basis

1999         Rev. Fritzner Dunois was accepted by the JBU in August, for pastoral training and assigned to Boulevard for a year under the supervision                                             of the Pastor, Rev. Devon Dick.

1999         First Bogle Walk-a-thon held in October

1999         Expansion of Sanitation Block of the Luther Gibbs Education Centre

2000         Enid Miller Scholarship Fund launched

2001         Media Ministry expanded to radio in October

2001         Church sponsors for the first time, one of its female members, Sister Cherrine Abrahams, in ministerial studies at UTC in June.

2001         Building of Multi-Purpose Court

2002         Multi-Purpose Court dedicated in February

2002         Traffic Ministry launched in February

2002         Expressions Ministry launched in February

2002         The new organ, a Roger 905B and the new piano were dedicated in October

2002         Pastor’s book,  Rebellion to Riot: The Jamaican Church in Nation Building was launched in October

2002         Sunday School Student’s Incentive and Education Programme (SIEP) launched at7 the Sunday School Anniversary Service in November

2004         Established Counselling Ministry

2008         Launch 40th Anniversary Celebrations

2008         Pastor Awarded PhD in Caribbean studies

2009         Celebration of 40th Anniversary – Gleaner Supplement, Banquet fo Members, Festival of Choirs, Heath Fair, Cruise, Home Coming Week (June 7-13)                          Walk through Community, Family Fun Day

2009         Mission to Turks and Caicos

2009         Publication of Rev. Dr. Devin Dick’s book The Cross and the Machete: Native Baptists of Jamaica – Identity, Ministry and Legacy

2010         1st Festival of Choirs

2010         BBC Netball Team received trophy for Outstanding Performance  at Invitational Tournament in St Maarten in August

2011         Appreciation Service for Pastor Rev. Dr. Devon Dick for 20 years of outstanding service - March 27

2011         Ground-breaking for Kings Drive Townhouse Development

2011         Boulevard Baptist Women’s Federation 40th Anniversary

2011         BBC/Mt. Carey Radiothon & Fund-Raising Concert hosted by The BBC Senior Choir

2012         Computer Laboratory upgraded with donation of twenty new computers from the Universal Access Fund – February

2012         Computer Classes for adults from the community started with 13 persons

2012         Founding Pastor, Rev. Luther Gibbs, celebrated his 90th birthday on March

2012         Jamaica 50 Week-long Celebrations

2012         Eight Sound and Media Technicians commissioned  in October

2012         The church’s monthly e-magazine (subsequently officially named BBC e-Voice) first  published in July as a Jamaica 50 edition.

2013         Wheel chair lift  installed for access to upstairs the Luther Gibbs Education Center

2013         Brother Derrick Sadler admitted to pastoral training at the United Theological College

2013         Pastor Confirmed with the Order of  Distinction Commander Class by the Jamaican Government

2014         Plaque listing the names of the 32 foundation members was unvieled at the start of the 45th Anniversary Service   

2014         First Aid Ministry Renamed to The Leleka Champagnie First Aid Ministry

2014         Kings Manor Housing Development completed and commissioned

2014         New Church Sign erected

2015         New Industrial Ceiling Fans installed

2016         Padding of the benches

2016         Church Sponsored Music Director to attend Choral Conducting Institute at Westminster Choir College

Plaque listing the names of the 32 foundation members

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