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case times;”>Brian Seymour
“We cannot go on like this, young people we must be a part of something positive. If someone offers you drugs, you tell them, get thee behind me Satan; if someone asks you for sex, you say to them, get thee behind me Satan.” These were the powerful words spoken by Acting Inspector Theodore Campbell of the Royal Bahamas Police force ( SEE VIDEO CLIP).
The recalibrated message of the Urban Renewal Marching band, hand-bell ringers, and drill team is an inner city program that should cause all in the business of reshaping lives to stop and take notice. This social intervention through music was a Christie’s administration idea, and therefore, was wrongly criticized by its detractors. It was said that putting police in the public schools is taboo. It was further stated that putting police officers to do social work was even worse. Three years later, here are some of the positive results.
The Urban Renewal Marching band and drill team shines as a beacon light of hope for at risk youth of the densely populated inner city of Nassau. Today, lives have been transformed, and forever changed by the small and less known intervention headed by the Royal Bahamas Police force. This is part of the policing strategy No. 5 for 2015, social intervention through music where it is cheaper to invest in instruments than incarceration.
On Saturday, December 19th, 2015, at Roland Park, Big Pond, Dr. B.J. Nottage had his children’s Christmas party. Needless to say, it was well attended by hundreds of children. The Urban Renewal band put on a show that was first class. It also proved to be a moving experience. As I listened to the band leader, Officer Theodore Campbell, I immediately pulled out my camera phone and started recording his message. He told the young people do not be content with a 0.3 or a 1.0 grade point average. He further stated that we cannot continue to live and go on as we are. We must do something positive and become involved in some positive activity. Too many children are roaming the streets idle. Parents allow us to help you raise your children. He, then, had other officers handing out applications for the band. To me, that was an upside down message where the police, a law enforcement agency was preaching and delivering a message on the park to the inner man. As I am a part of the community of faith, I was embarrassed.
The Urban Renewal band comprises three hundred plus members; we are further informed that four churches have fully bought into this band and have brought the spiritual component to the program. They are Kemp Road Ministries, Pilgrim Baptist Church, Evangelistic Temple, and Carmichael Bible Church. These forward thinking ministries see the value in investing in a recalibrated message of the good news to our most precious resources, our children.
In just three short years, members of the band grade point averages have dramatically changed and risen; some of the senior members have gone on to receive full scholarships from BTVI, College of the Bahamas, Norfolk State University, Texas Southern University, Prairie View University, and Bethune Cookman College. Also, other members have been given internships at Government Printing and have become certified graphic artists. This is a program that was trashed because it was an idea borne of the PLP administration, but to God be the glory, it is bearing fruit.
Rev Ranford Patterson
Patterson’s Message To The Christian Council
The Minister of National Security has become the whipping boy of the PLP government. Young people are killing each other, at will, family members are killing each other and it has to be his fault because we have to point the finger of blame at someone, so it falls to Dr. Bernard J. Nottage to shoulder the blame for the deep seated problems of the inner man. Behind the shadows lurk those who are calling for extreme measures by the police to deploy fowl means that will offend the rule of law, and in the end, will make us no better than the criminal element. Such is the level of anxiety and frustration in our community.
We can put a camera on every major street corner in the capital, and a police car on every other corner and triple the size in terms of numbers of the police force, double the size of the courts, and the government should do this but that will not cure the murder problem. We have a spiritual problem; the Word tells us, unless the Lord builds a house, they that build it…………….. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman watches in vain. Secondly, we as individual citizens will not take ownership of our homes and communities, but instead point the finger of blame. In our homes God is a person who existed for grammy and granddaddy, and other older people. The home has become a den of iniquity. In one generation, the John 3:16 message and the 23rd Psalm have all but disappeared. These verses once formed the basis of our spiritual values, but today could hardly be recited by most young people, hence the lawlessness.
Last week, on the news, the Bahamas Christian Council President, Dr. Ranford Patterson was questioned about the government, in my words, is there a word from the Lord, as was asked from the prophets of old. His response was profound and telling, “We need to put ten thousand people on Bay Street to demonstrate and get the government’s attention.” Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. That night, the bright light of the Christian Council’s witness was extinguished by the council’s confused president. His message was not well considered at all. What if the crowd of ten thousand people became unruly in the heart of the city’s center where hundreds of tourists walk daily? That was the message of a leader playing with fire and one step away from the potential to riot. His message should have been a call to prayer from ten thousand for the Commonwealth of the Bahamas chanting “Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy upon us”; and for the pulling down of strong holds of the evil one.
On Thursday, January 14th, 2016, in the wee hours of the morning, five demons entered the home of Pastor Emeritus of Grace Community Church, Dr. Rex Major. The gunmen demanded cash and was told by Brother Rex that they had no money. They, then, proceeded to ransack the home and attempted to assault his daughter according to their account. The mother, Sister Doreen, who is in her eighties told them that they would have to go through her first. I know the family. They would have laid down their lives for any of their daughters. A practical lesson in biblical love is ‘laying down one’s life’ was demonstrated. Reports are they started praying loudly while, at the same time, resisting these demons and after about fifteen minutes they left the house with the televisions, cell phones, and other electronic devices. The perpetrators gun butted Brother Rex and through him to the floor several times, otherwise, the family was unharmed. Brother Rex said crime is a greed problem, not a political problem; the more important point proven is that the prayers of the righteous availeth much. The Word says, one can chase a thousand, and two can put ten thousand to flight. To God be the glory for the practical application of courageous Christian faith that was demonstrated by the Major family.