Students from the Antigua and Barbuda Seventh-day Adventist Secondary school march through the streets of St. Johns, in Antigua, on Apr. 29, 2023. The march was held to promote the fundamental beliefs of the Adventist church and support Seventh-day Adventist education. [Photo: Courtesy of Eulalie Daly Semper]

June 1, 2023 | St. John’s, Antigua | CARU Staff and Inter-American Division News

More than 1,000 marched through the capital city of the island of Antigua recently to promote the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Fundamental beliefs and its educational system.

Coined as the Fundamental Beliefs March, students from the four Adventist schools in the South Leeward Islands were joined by dozens of Pathfinders and Adventurers through the streets of St. Johns shouting choruses and reciting passages from the writings of Adventist Church co-founder Ellen G. White.

“This march demonstrated the Christian values held high, showing that our school is based on the philosophy of the Bible,” said Eulalie Daly Semper, education director of the South Leeward Conference. “Students worked hard, creating banners and posters and illustrations with their own hands and proclaimed with dignity the core beliefs of the church.”

Students of the Antigua Seventh-day Adventist Primary school are joined by parents to support Adventist Christian education during the march on Apr. 29, 2023. [Photo: Courtesy of Eulalie Daly Semper]

Semper said that the activity sought to encourage students to celebrate the beliefs of the church, and “foster a sense of belonging to the students who study in our schools and attend our churches.” Adventist schools organize the march annually with a specific theme each year.

The march was one of the many activities planned to highlight Christian education across the Conference, explained Semper.

Students and teachers from the two primary and secondary schools were joined by church leaders in what turned out to be a three-hour march which led them through the main streets to pass out flyers and books to onlookers. “People on the streets eagerly asked questions about the beliefs and some even joined just to be a part of the celebration.”

Church leaders from the South Leeward Conference Krista Moore, treasurer and Frederick Alfred, community services director join the march with students across the streets of Antigua.  Executive Secretary Pastor Wayne Knowles (in blue shirt), executive secretary, smiles as he marches behind them. [Photo: Courtesy of Eulalie Daly Semper]

Preschoolers were excited to travel on a truck as they shared their Bible verses and parents marched alongside them dressed in t-shirts that had the open Bible as the logo, she said. “The displayed Bible verses on banners captured the attention of many. It was an absolute pleasure to see all the non-Seventh-day Adventist parents marching along with their children to share the Seventh-day Adventist Beliefs,” said Semper.

Jerniah Willock, a student from the secondary school in Antigua, said he was glad to be participating in the march. “I am not a Seventh-day Adventist yet, but I’m very proud to be in a school where God is placed number one,” he said.

According to church leaders, Adventist education on the island of Antigua has been operating for 89 years. Every activity planned by the office of education this year will help to promote the value of the Christian education in the community. “This activity has brought them a long way forward,” Semper said.

As students marched during the three-hour activity they passed out flyers and books to onlookers. [Photo: Courtesy of [Photo: Courtesy of Eulalie Daly Semper]

“The best publicity that an Adventist school can do is to show its community the distinctive characteristics of Adventist education,” said Pastor Carson Green, president of the South Leeward Conference. “The Bible claims a dominant place in our schools, and we have to proclaim it. It is the essence of our fundamental beliefs.”

Pastor Green said the smiling faces of the children and young people accompanied with musical bands and creative banners “impressed even the most insensitive of hearts.”

The Seventh-day Adventist Church in the South Leeward Conference has over 10,600 church members worshiping in 44 churches and congregations. The church operates three primary schools and one secondary school in Antigua and St. Kitts, as well as a radio station located on Antigua.

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