The Conquerors for Christ Junkanoo group has had much to celebrate in recent weeks. First, on June 22, the group’s leader, Apostle Henry Higgins celebrated his 54th birthday with the community, and then the following Sunday, June 30, they marked their 15th anniversary with a special church service.
Apostle Henry Higgins, senior pastor of Creative Christian Arts Ministries International, turned his birthday celebration into a giveaway, and he and his team descended on Rock Crusher Park and blessed the community with food, clothing, toys and books.
Apostle Higgins said the Lord spoke to him and told him to be a blessing to this community, because this is where he began his teachings and preaching ministry at the age of 11.
“In the back of the park is the Church of God of Prophecy, of which I am a founding member, and under the tutelage of Bishop Hudon R Cox, Pastor Burke Culmer and Bishop Elias Ferguson, I was allowed to preach my first sermon and assisted with street meetings,” he said.
“My Sunday school teachers at that time – Pastor Luma Rolle and Apostle Althea Nottage Smith – were instrumental in preparing me for ministry. Many people do not know the true story of how this church got here. But it is important to me because I know, and I was a part of the formation from the house to the tent and from the tent to the building.”
Apostle Higgins and his team spent the entire day allowing the community to see and experience Matthew 25 and the extended hands of Jesus in action. Families were able to take home clothes, dry food, cooking utensils, meat such as pot roast, rack of lamb, steak, chicken, and the like. Children got free face painting and were given light-up toys and many other special gifts. Apostle Higgins offered his thanks to the sponsors: Ronald Ingraham of Bahamas Bakery Services; Pastor Laura Taylor Johnson of Elijay Hilltop Ministries; Bishop Walter Hanchell of Great Commission Ministries; Party World, and Pastor Marcia McPhee of Jubilee Ministries in Jubilee Gardens.
A week later, under the theme “Going to New Dimensions”, the Conquerors for Christ then celebrated 15 years as a Junkanoo group with a church service at the Creative Christian Arts Ministries International Kingdom Training Centre on Nassau Street.
The church was filled to capacity as people came out to celebrate the honorees, the founding members of the organisation. Congratulatory remarks were brought by Eric Scrap Knowles, co-chairman of the Junkanoo Corporation of New Providence, who encouraged the group not to give up, but to press on.
The sermon was preached by Bishop Kirkwood Murphy of Temple Fellowship Ministries who took his text from 1 Kings 6:8. Apostle Higgins shared the history of the group from its inception in 2004. The most exciting thing for him is that the group is one of two groups in the B category which has never missed a parade and has never been disqualified. He also noted that the group has progressed over the years and made history as being the first group to win the Step Down Costume category in the B Division when it was first introduced in 2017, and has won three of the four last Step Down championships.
Although these are great accomplishments for the group, Apostle Higgins said its greatest achievement is and will always be that they are able to share the gospel of Jesus Christ through Junkanoo.
Individuals honoured for their contributions as founding members were: Laytonia Cox, former choreographed dancer; Benjamin Woodside, former grand marshall; Tony Bodie Marshall, and Alice Cox, former choreographed dancer and now off-the-shoulder dancer.
The group will continue its anniversary celebrations with the Conquerors Back to School Rollover on Saturday, August 17, at Rock Crusher Park. School supplies will be given to the children in the community, and students who produce their report cards with the highest GPAs will receive special awards. The celebrations will conclude on Saturday, October 12, with the Conquerors Day Praise Festival where choirs, dance groups and praise teams will minister. The venue will be announced shortly.