Dick on Native Baptists of Jamaica

Dick, Devon. The Cross and the Machete: Native Baptists of Jamaica – Identity, Ministry and Legacy. Ian Randle Publishers, Jamaica, 2010.

From publisher:

“Traditional historiography has often represented the actions of Paul Bogle the hero/villain Baptist Deacon and his followers when they marched on the Morant Bay court house in 1865 as being motivated by mere murderous intent. But in this new work, Devon Dick – himself an ordained Baptist minister – argues that Bogle and Assemblyman George Williams Gordon, were propelled to protest inequalities and injustices because of their distinctive Native Baptist version of the English Baptist tradition can be described as a creolised version of the English Baptist faith of the missionaries. It was developed in response to the English Baptist faith of the missionaries. It was developed in response to the racial prejudice experienced at the hands of those missionaries, and their acquiescence of the status quo with its emphasis on oppression of the native population. By contrast, the Native Baptists emphasised their African heritage, defended the use of creole in the liturgy of the church and based the practice of the Faith on the Community’s reflection on its struggles in light of the Scriptures. It was this distinctive interpretive approach to the scriptures and other related sacred literature, argues Dick, that informed Bogle’s prophetic response in the 1865 Native Baptist War.

Thoroughly researched and drawing on original documents attributed to Bogle and other Native Baptists, The Cross and the Machete provides an alternative interpretation of the actions of Bogle, Gordon and other Native Baptists and introduces a new paradigm for understanding their struggle for equality, justice and liberation.

Devon Dick is Pastor of the Boulevard Baptist Church, St. Andrew Jamaica. He holds a doctorate in Caribbean Studies from the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom and is the author of Rebellion to Riot: The Jamaican Church in Nation Building (2002), also published by Ian Randle Publishers.”

via Repeating Islands

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