By FELICITY DARVILLE
RELIGION in The Bahamas has been dominated by Christian denominations; in fact, about 90 percent of the population ascribes to some form of Christianity. About 30 percent are Baptist, 23 percent are Pentecostal, 14 percent Catholic, 10 percent Anglican, five percent Seventh-Day Adventist, and four percent Methodist. The remainder includes various Christian and non-Christian religions like Greek Orthodox, Rastafari, Baha’i, Jehovah Witness, Muslim, Obeah and Hinduism.
With such a large percentage of the population following one of the mainstream denominations, the country has long been referred to as a Christian nation.
But there is one form of Christianity that did not emerge from Colonialism, and is standing on its own as an example of what Christianity could be. The Holy Qubtic Church of The Black Messiah is 11-years-old and more than 50 members strong, anchored in the Bain Town community. Its members are a part of a global congregation with branches in Liberia, London, South Carolina, New England, Texas, California, Georgia, Trinidad and Tobago, and other parts of the world.
The theology of the church is based on the African Theology of Atonism. According to the churches Ka-Hun, or head priest Anku Sa Ra, Atonism is the “true Christianity established before that of Greco-Roman traditions and theology”.
In keeping with its Ancient African Theology, the Holy Qubtic Church is hosting a virtual “International Culture Day” this coming Saturday. The goal is to combine education with entertainment with roughly five hours of non-stop global engagement with the church locations throughout the world.
Those who participate will have the opportunity to understand this faith better and meet people from around the world who share this belief in what they consider an unadulterated form of Ka-Rastian (Christian) way of life. It’s a perfect opportunity for Bahamians interested in learning more of what the church is all about to find out.
Church members have been able to combine solid Christian values on which they grew up, with a deeper understanding of themselves, the history of religion and lessons that empower them as opposed to limiting their knowledge as colonialism is said to have done.
The day will also be marked with the opening of “The Tree of Eternal Life - Q Mini Mart” around the globe as some 10 locations including The Bahamas are scheduled to have grand openings on June 19. These stores will focus on health food products, self mastery books, and everyday products centred around Atonism.
Anku Sa Ra is well known for speaking at events, schools and on radio, bringing these new concepts of self-identity to the public.
“We are the Original African Nazarites (Numbers 6 KJV) that strive to be At-One with the Divinity within (Luke 17:21 & John 17:21-23 KJV) like the Real and Living Messiah: Ya-Shu-a Ka-Rast - The Black Messiah (Revelation 1:14-15 KJV),” he said.
“We live by nine sacred rites as outlined in “The Covenant of The Bow” (Genesis 9:13 KJV) as found in our scriptures - the original Books of The Bible based on the ancient African laws of Ma’at (Matthew 5:17 KJV).”
Anku, also known as Cleveland Eneas III, comes from a rich heritage of nation builders whose contributions to The Bahamas have been outstanding. However, rather than stand in the shoes of his forefathers and simply repeat the process, Anku has created a path of his own. It has gained him respect and has allowed him to honohr his forefathers in his own unique way.
It was in March of 1973 that the late Dr Cleveland W Eneas Sr delivered a riveting and memorable speech at the Church of God Convention, Yamacraw Tabernacle. The title of the speech was: “Let the Church Roll On!”
“It was not only the title of a speech,” Anku said, “but also a book, statement, command or charge if you will - a profound statement of what, not only the Eneas family has been doing for over 100 years now as a family; but also what the church in The Bahamas has been doing to ‘find themselves’ in this country.”
Anku is the great grandson of the late Bishop W V Eneas, the first Bishop of the Church of God in The Bahamas. Bishop Eneas and his wife, Arabella Ferguson-Eneas, originally “rolled” from the Methodist Church and Baptist Church respectively, to the Church of God in The Bahamas, where they worshipped until they “went on to glory”.
The late Dr Cleveland W Eneas Sr, their son, “rolled” from the Church of God Bahamas to the Presbyterian Kirk with his wife, Muriel Eneas. Their son, the late Dr. Cleveland W Eneas Jr and Anku’s mother, Laurie Saunders, have supported their son in his spiritual journey and in establishing the Holy Qubtic Church in The Bahamas.
As a testament to the faith he has in his son, Dr Eneas was baptised and given the new name (Ab Nawur Meduty Re) on September 10, 2015. He joined his son. Pastor Dr Cleveland Eneas III (Ka-Hun: Anku Sa Ra) in his mission to reshape the identity of Christianity in The Bahamas to a new and liberated concept that allows members to seek their own true Divinity within and express it in their daily life. Dr Eneas, a well known and popular dentist, musician and community builder passed away on August 3, 2019.
As fate would have it, the Holy Qubtic Church of The Black Messiah is now located in the exact vicinity where the Church of God Bahamas was originally founded 111 years ago. It is located on Meadow Street and was founded in 1910 at the original residence of Bishop Wilmore Venable Eneas and his wife Arabella and was fondly referred to as “camp ground” right in the heart of historic Bain Town.
Today, Anku and his wife, Emissary Amunet Hika Ra (Tesha Fritz-Eneas) and their children Tafari, Ayodele, Amina, Adisa and Atun serve as a shining example of a family maintaining strong roots while creating new branches of ideas and thoughts about the way we live. They run a popular health food restaurant and also sell wholesale items such as healthy breads, veggie burgers, organic grains and natural drinks. This has brought the community and interested members of the public to Bain Town and to the church, supporting a number of annual events. They call their eating habits “agrarian”, meaning they aim to eat what they grow.
Anku explained: “We recognize that the shelf bought, processed foods are slowly killing us as a people and in order to maintain our bodies, which are divine temples of the Most High, we must eat what has been prescribed by the Most High Heavenly One An-Naay-Re by way of Nature in order to fulfil our purpose of controlling our destiny on all fronts of RELSELWEP (Religion, Economics, Labour, Sex and Gender, Education, Law, War and Security, Entertainment and Politics”.
May 8 marked the 11th year of service to the Bain Town community for the Holy Qubtic Church. Revival of the church of Ankh-An-Aton (The Holy Qubtic) began in the early 2000s.
Anku called his spiritual journey a “gradual progression”.
“I went from asking questions about the Bible and church late in my high school years and through University at Tuskegee until I eventually decided to enter the Qubtic Seminary a few years after I graduated university,” he explained.
“It wasn’t an overnight decision at all. I learned about Atonism through friends who had read about it and those grew up in the True-Faith.”
Newly-baptised member Jannifer Thurstoin has received the new name Kha-N-Yis-Wa: Bebti. She shared her journey: “It was a little over a year ago that I received an invite from Steven Matthews to listen to the teachings of his Ba Sesh: Haru Hotep-Tar ( aka Dr AJ Varmah).
I tuned in, and was amazed. I had never heard such a detailed methodical analysis of the scriptures. Line upon line, precept upon precept using etymology, geography, geology, biology, chemistry, physics - and all the original languages that the Bible was written in, Hebrew, Arabic, Latin, and Greek.
“Needless to say, my lifelong search for truth has brought and kept me in the Holy Qubtic Church of the Black Messiah, as I am now a newly baptised member.”
For more information on International Culture Day, call 242-426-1148 or find The Holy Qubtic Church - Bahamas Branch or Tree of Eternal Life - Bahamas on Facebook.
• Since this column was submitted, the Holy Qubtic Church suffered a fire during the early morning hours on Monday. Anku says the International Culture Day will still be held and services will continue in a temporary location. They will also have virtual services and Anku says they refuse to be held down by this devastating setback.