Rev. Tabla with others at the groundbreaking ceremony.The Ebenezer Community Church in Minnesota, the United States, on September 8, 2019 broke ground for the second phase of its building project. This new phase estimated at US$4.5 million, includes a 20,000 square-feet edifice with a 1,000 seat sanctuary, as well as offices and educational space.The Educational space, according to Dr. Tabla, will be named in honor of Rev. Dr. Peter James Flamming, Pastor Emeritus of the Historic First Baptist Church in Richmond, VA, USA. Under Dr. Flamming’s leadership, First Baptist Church Partnered with Ebenezer Community Church in significant ways including the acquisition of the 4.3 acres of land and the first phase construction. First Baptist Church of Richmond is also where Rev. Lott Carey held membership before going to Liberia to serve as Pastor of Providence Baptist Church on Broad and Ashmun streets in Monrovia and Chief medical Officer of the Republic of Liberia. The Lott Carey Baptist Mission School in Brewerville, Liberia is named in honor of Rev. Lott Carey.According to Senior Pastor of the Ebenezer Church, Rev. Dr. Francis O. S. Tabla, construction “by God’s grace is expected to begin this fall to be completed in late summer of next year,” with Dennis Batty & Associates as Architect and Terra Construction as General Contractors. The church’s first phase was completed in early 2016 with a 14,000 square feet facility at the cost of U$3.02 million.The 2nd phase groundbreaking ceremony coincided with the church’s 19th anniversary celebration, under the theme: “Expectation from the Lord” (taken from the text of Proverbs 24:14). The celebration included revival services and a thanksgiving service graced by anointed men and women of the gospel, including Reverend Simeon L. Dunbar, Senior Pastor of the Liberty Christian Center in Johnsonville, Liberia.A blueprint of the current and future place of worship of the ECC.Rev. Dunbar, a revivalist and preacher who is also a former school mate of Dr. Francis & Rev. Christine Tabla at the Booker Washington Institute in Kakata, Liberia in the mid eighties, delivered a power-packed thanksgiving message under the theme, “The Blessings of the Lord”, from the text Proverbs 10:22: “The blessing of the Lord makes rich and adds no sorrow”. He challenged ‘African’ Christians to “break forth and make a difference at home and abroad for the time is now.”During the course of the thanksgiving service, Deacon Gladys Freeman-Fahngon, was installed as Chair of Deacons, while Deacon Chester Weah, was installed as Vice Chair of Deacons. Deacon Richard Z. Toweh, was licensed as a Minister of the Gospel; Licentiate Massa J. Logan was installed as Director of Evangelism; and Brother Thomas Mason, as Church Clerk.Dr. Tabla said the services were graced by the unprecedented presence of God to the extent that “God held up the rain for the groundbreaking to occur without any setback.”Some dignitaries, including, Hon. Carlton George, Liberia’s Consul General to the Midwest, deputizing for Liberia’s Ambassador to the U.S. Hon. George Patten; Madam Wokie Freeman-Gbogba, Assistant City Manager of the City of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota; and Reverend Clint Calvert of the Minnesota Wisconsin Baptist Convention, attended the program. Other guests were Hon. Arthur Biah and Mrs. Georgette Gray of the Organization of Liberians in Minnesota; Mr. Isaac Russell, National President of the Maryland County Association of North America (NAMCAL), Mrs. Lydia Wuo, President of Minnesota chapter of NAMCAL; Ms. Alice Temah-Cooper, Queen of the Minnesota Chapter of the Booker Washington Institute National Alumni Association of North America, Reverend George Wonlon, Executive Director of the Liberian Ministers Association of Minnesota; Ilan Sharon, Jewish Liaison of African/Christians United for Israel; Apostle Samuel Barnes Carr, Senior Pastor of Triumphant Living Miracle Assembly of God, Gardnersville, Liberia; along with believers from other parts of the USA. Liberian gospel recording artist Ethelyn Naiah, AKA “Give Me a New Day” and Liberian-Ghanian gospel musical artist Steve Kelly, AKA “This Year Is My Year” also graced the occasion.Rev. Dr. Francis & Rev. Christine Jallah-Tabla, Pastors of the church and also natives of Liberia, earlier welcomed and thanked those who attended the event and asked God’s blessings upon them for their encouragement, friendship, prayers and support given to Ebenezer Community Church over the years. He also applauded friends and well-wishers, who gave generously and continue to support the project’s Gofundme page and other mediums to assist the church with the construction cost.Ebenezer Community Church is a body of believers that love God, care for each other and doing missions at home and abroad. The church has a growing congregation of over 700 members pursuing the advancement of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Liberian community in Minnesota and the African community at large. The following nations currently make up the membership: Ghana, Guinea, Haiti, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and the USA. The church continues to be a great testament to what God can do with and through a hand full of people who believe Him for great things; a beacon of hope, inspiration and pride to Liberians and all Africans in the diaspora, and a success story for all acquaintances and well wishers. All are welcome to visit the church when in Minnesota: 9200 West Broadway, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota 55445.The church seeks to provide more ministry in evangelism and discipleship; services to the elderly and adult literacy programs; mentoring programs to help shield youths from gangs; cultural diversity orientation to help reduce cultural conflicts; as well as tutorial program to assist those with deficiencies in English and mathematics.At the close of the program, African dishes were served.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The Central Housing and Planning Authority is currently constructing a total of 10 elevated two-bedroom houses at Onderneeming, West Bank Demerara, which are expected to be completed by April, according to the engineer.The houses under constructionEngineer Darron McKinnon said that there were four contractors executing works on the 10 houses. He noted that on account of the rain, the three-month contract had to be extended with the new completion date being April month-end.He explained that the houses measured 30x20ft with approximately 670 square feet of livable space. McKinnon added that they were monitoring construction closely and testing all materials to ensure that they were up to standard.The cost for one of the houses is $8 million – $7.5 million for the structure and $500,000 for the land.Additionally, CH&PA Chief Executive Officer Lelon Saul said as part of the 2018 programme, the Housing Authority expected to allocate some 1000 service lots across the country namely at Linden, Cummings Lodge, and Perseverance.“We have 10 of 19 houses under construction. It is from part of our 2018 target. In 2018, CH&PA will be delivering 247 house units across the country. In addition, 750 houses will be delivered via public-private partnership,” he noted.While on a tour of the site, Director of Projects, Omar Narine noted that the La Parfaite Harmonie Housing Scheme is one of the largest housing schemes in the country with more than 8000 lots compassing six plantations of which Onderneeming is one.“Right now, we are doing 10 units and a potential nine units to commence in the next two weeks. Those units will be two and three bedrooms, the flat version of this (elevated) option, but those options will be two and three bedrooms, 600-900 square foot,” he explained.Some 758 housing units (530 duplexes and 228 townhouses) will be built under this Government to maximise land use and increase affordability, while building cohesive communities in 10 locations across six regions. The construction of the houses is part of the Government’s plan to make affordable housing available to every citizen, particularly Public Sector employees and youths.In May, the CH&PA held its inaugural Housing Expo in its Model Village at Perseverance on the East Bank of Demerara. The Housing Authority is expected to construct an additional 40 duplexes at Perseverance with each apartment costing $7.1 million inclusive of the cost for the house lot.CH&PA Director of Operations, Denise King-Tudor said that for persons to qualify for the houses, they must have an active application in the system and have an interview to be prequalified. Upon completion of that, they will be issued with a letter to take to their preferred financial institution for a loan prequalification, and would be placed on the waiting list.“Once we are ready and you are selected, then you will be required to pay the initial deposit and the initial deposit is dependent on the amount that the applicant have been prequalified for by the banks,” she noted.
…say he failed to represent their interest after collecting millions in union dues…hundreds more to be dismissed, economic genocide being committedHundreds of sugar workers and senior persons in the sugar industry are dissatisfied with the way the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) had handled the sudden closure of sugar estates along with severance benefits and other issues relative to the sugar industry, and they are calling on GAWU President, Komal Chand, to resign.GAWU President Komal ChandGuyana Times spoke with several workers in the sugar belt, and they say they felt betrayed when GAWU agreed to accept that only some sugar workers who were dismissed would get their full severance at the end of January.The meeting the workers were referring to was held between the Union and Government on Friday last, to discuss severance. The Union had initially stated its disapproval at having workers receive part of their severance; but at the end of that meeting, Chand was quoted in the press as saying that he was pleased with the outcome, as he noted that the Union is now committed to working with the Administration.A worker from Enmore, who asked not to be named, told this newspaper that the situation in the sugar industry has only worsened under Chand’s leadership. He claimed the Government which owned GuySuCo was committing genocide against sugar workers because with no jobs how will the thousands of workers and their families survive. The sugar worker claimed that Chand has lost his zeal, and cannot now serve the interest of the workers anymore.Another worker pointed out that in fact GAWU did very little for them since the issue of severance is directed by law and not the Union. According to the worker, GAWU should have been fighting for estates to remain open.Another worker noted that Chand, although having been leader of the Union for many years, had presided over the firing of thousands of workers, sending them into hopelessness. He added that having for years collected Union dues, GAWU should have done a better job in representing the workers at their darkest hour.Another former estate worker feels that for GAWU to win the battle in these difficult times the industry faces, the Union would need a new leader; one who has the capacity to represent and deliver.“There are other good leaders in the Union who are being suppressed. He has served his time, and needs to give others a chance to represent the workers. The Union is lacking strong representation with Chand at the helm, and this is the time we need strength to fight,” the worker opined.Contacted for a comment on the workers’ contentions, Chand told Guyana Times he does not in any way feel he has betrayed the workers.More dismissalMeanwhile, several hundred workers who were retained at Skeldon, Rose Hall, East Demerara and Wales estates to work with the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) would soon be made redundant, according to GAWU. This comes mere weeks after hundreds of workers were dismissed and the Government approved supplementary provision to offset partial severance payments to thousands of displaced workers.GAWU claims being informed of this decision by the Guyana Sugar Corporation Inc. (GuySuCo), and that the workers identified for retrenchment would be notified shortly.These workers were mainly retained as the sugar company was seeking to provide certain services to the NDIA. Unfortunately, an arrangement in that respect has fallen through, and the workers are now facing redundancy.GAWU, on Monday, said further expansion of unemployment in the sugar belt is without doubt making a “really bad situation even worse.” Given the absence of any plans to deal with the fallout from the closure of several estates and the fiasco that has surrounded the workers’ severance payment, this pending retrenchment has been described as “heart-rending.”