“To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior. The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.” – Titus 1:4-5 NIV
The Kingston Church of Christ (KCOC) in Jamaica appointed its first elders on April 23, 2023. This was the culmination of years of wrestling with the question, “If a church without elders has unfinished business, then why was the KCOC planted almost 40 years ago and still did not have elders?”
Courtney Bailey, a brother who has been blessed with the gift of teaching and researching sought to find the answer to this question. His efforts included attaining his Ph.D. in New Testament studies and writing his thesis on the topic. Several other leaders in the church and others with the aptitude for teaching reviewed his findings for an entire year and concluded that the Holy Spirit had already raised up men who were biblically qualified and who were already playing a significant role in leading the church.
The leaders started the process with advice and guidance from other churches in the ICOC. It involved the KCOC church members nominating men who had the qualities of an elder, having a time of testing, and selecting four of the qualified men to be the first appointed elders. Present for this historic event were Jimmy and Maria Rogers from the church in Boston, Brian and Michelle Santos from the church in Orlando, and Angel Martinez from the church in the Dominican Republic, all of whom have made an indelible mark on the KCOC in the past.
These are the first men to be elders of the Kingston Church of Christ:
- Craig Reynolds has served in the ministry on a full-time basis since 1998. He and his wife, Nadine, have been overseeing the St. Catherine and Southern churches in Jamaica for years.
- Herman McKay, together with his wife, Stephanie, has been leading the Santa Cruz church since 2001. They own their own business, and they have a stellar reputation with the business community in that town.
- Lewis Livingstone, and his wife, Tosan, emigrated to Jamaica in 2020. Lewis was an elder in the New York City Church of Christ prior to this move. His experience and wisdom were instrumental in helping the KCOC through the process of appointing elders.
- Peter Swaby was the first person to be baptized in the Kingston Church of Christ in 1984. He was met by Sandra, whom he later wed. They are both doctors, have led the church in the past, and Peter has been the director of HOPE worldwide’s local chapter for many years.
The Kingston Church of Christ is blessed to have these men as its elders and their wives giving them strong support. This is a historic and pivotal event for the churches in Jamaica and in the Caribbean.