The Turks and Caicos Islands’ Salvation Army has installed new leadership.
Commanding Officers, Major Ernest Gachelin and his wife Major Germanie Gachelin are now the pastors in charge of that Christian charitable organization locally, having arrived in the TCI in the latter part of October this year, to take up their positions.
The Guyanese citizenship-holding couple, who are Haitians by birth, sat down with NewslineTCI to unfold what their tour of duty would entail, and how they would seek to make the local body increases its value to the people of these islands.
According to Major Ernest Gachelin, while many may know the Salvation as a charitable body, its core operation is to save souls.
“Many people do not know that the Salvation Army started as a church, and then social came after. So, we came here to preach the Word of God, first and foremost, and then we have social, so we can assist those who are in need when we have,” he said.
Major Ernest Gachelin pointed out that a key component of the Salvation Army in the Turks and Caicos Islands is to ensure that young people, especially, are empowered in a variety of ways.
“We believe that when we empower the young people it will lead to a better future for years to come,” Major Ernest Gachelin said. “The Salvation Army has many ways to empowering young people…one way is you give them the skills so they can be on their own for the future,” he said.
Recently the Salvation Army completed construction of a building along Leeward Highway, which can also be accessed from Ocean View Street, Richmond Hill.
The facility, according to Major Ernest Gachelin, in addition to being a church, will also serve as an events venue, catering to seminars, trainings, graduations and other gatherings.
Major Ernest Gachelin said a section of the building would be used for skills training, such as sewing and so on.
“We do not have the tools for now, but we are working towards that,” he said.
The two, who have been pastors in the Salvation Army for the past 16 years, were commissioned in 2006 in Jamaica. Upon their appointment, they were both assigned a tour of Guyana, in which they spent nine years, before returning to Jamaica, where they spent four years. They were then dispatched to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, before being assigned to the Turks and Caicos Islands.
For her part, Major Germanie Gachelin said the Salvation Army has members who come from almost every settlement on Providenciales. She said some members are fortunate than others, and so, the church would endeavor to assist the destitute as far as its resources would allow it to.
“And I heard before I got here that the public is always willing to help the Salvation Army. So, I would like to tell them that nothing has changed,” she said.
The salvation Army conducts two services on a Sunday – Sunday School at 9:30a.m., and Holiness Meeting at 10:30a.m. She said for now, prayer meetings and Bible Study, which are normally held on a Tuesday, for the time being are held on social media platform – WhatsApp. She said also that practices for youth and adults are held on Thursday at the church.
In the meantime, Major Ernest Gachelin said planning for the signature Salvation Army Christmas activity – the Red Kettle – is underway, while calling on members of the public to assist generously to the undertaking this year.
“You will soon see us at the Graceway IGA Supermarket and at the IGA Gourmet very soon. Also, we are appealing to the public, to the business places, to the people to put their hands together with us, in order for us to help those who are in need.
“We are here to represent God and also to represent the Salvation Army…just to lift up the banner higher,” Major Ernest Gachelin said.
For those wishing to donate to the Turks and Caicos Islands Salvation Army, they can be reached at: 1 (649) 431 9711 or email: email@example.com.