BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, February 19, 2020 (MMS-SKN) — The recent opening of the Rehoboth Centre on the 17th anniversary of The Temple Church, in Dieppe Bay, has been described by the Director of Gender Affairs, Mrs Celia Christopher, as a boon to government’s legislation on domestic violence.
“The opening of Rehoboth Centre fits into our programme because now the government has legislation, it also has the Domestic Violence Protocol, and it has the legal aid, and so this was the final piece that we were looking for,” said Mrs Christopher during a special afternoon thanksgiving service held at The Temple in Dieppe Bay on Sunday February 2.
According to Mrs Christopher, the Ministry of Social Services and in particular the Department of Gender Affairs has been working with the church as an organisation over the years and the church has always supported the Department in working with vulnerable groups including victims of domestic violence.
The Director of Gender Affairs, who was accompanied by the Deputy Director of Social Services Mrs Mary Anne Wigley, noted that they had over the years been looking and searching to find a safe place to temporarily host the victims for a few nights as they get their lives straightened out and get their life back on track.
The thanksgiving service was chaired by Sister Rheo Buchanan, and the sermon was delivered by Apostle Eugene Springette. At the end of the service, the worshippers moved to the Rehoboth Centre, where Pastor Oslyn Harvey cut the ribbon to officially open the facility. A tour of the centre by church officials, worshippers, and guests was conducted.
“We are happy and we are now going to have that partnership between this church and the Department of Gender Affairs because The Temple is the first church, not the first church that we have worked with, but who have declared officially that they have a centre that can help us,” said Mrs Christopher. “We look forward to their continued support and that we will be working together to help to alleviate the issue of domestic violence.”
Apostle Eugene Springette said that his church, The Temple, was inspired to establish the Rehoboth Centre at a cost of over $400,000 because they love people. The centre which was built by a contractor from Parsons Ground, Mr Vince Bridgewater who is also a member of the church, has a studio apartment on the ground floor and a two bedroomed apartment upstairs.
“This ministry is a giving ministry,” said Apostle Springette. “We are not seeking to get from – we are seeking to give to. So whatever it would take for us to reach people no matter where they are, the situation they are going through, we are going to help them. I love people – if you are a child of God then you must love people because God loves people more than anything.”
The Rehoboth Centre, according to Apostle Springette, aims at accommodating married couples going through tough situations and they need a time away to look over life, where they would spend three to five days and with some counselling they can determine if they are going back into the situation or they want to move on. It will be at no cost to them, but if they wish to give a donation, they can. Victims of domestic violence will also be given a consideration.
“If a church wants to bring in a pastor, or a small delegation let us know a head of time and we will accommodate the church,” noted Apostle Springette. “A pastor coming from overseas, instead of having to go to a hotel, you can come here for the week or two weeks, just let us know in advance and we make the building available.”
A management committee led by the manager of the centre, Mrs Michelle Mitchell, was introduced during the thanksgiving service. The other members are Mr Boris Connor, Ms Rheo Buchanan, Mrs Rovena Duradal, and Mr Vince Bridgewater.