Adventist pastor in Jamaica makes history by earning medical degree

Adventist pastor in Jamaica makes history by earning medical degree

Not content with simply serving in the Seventh-day Adventist Church through preaching, teaching, and counseling in his home country of Jamaica, Pastor Kemar Douglas earned a medical degree.

After four years of study, Douglas is a medical intern at May Pen Hospital after graduating from the Caribbean School of Medical Sciences in Kingston, Jamaica on October 30, 2022, with honors and as an award recipient. of the Chancellor for Academics and Leadership. .

Douglas, 43, earned his medical degree while pastoring a five-church district with 2,100 members.

“The balance hasn’t been easy,” Douglas said. “I had promised my life to God and to the ministry of the gospel and to take care of my family, and I had to make sure no one suffered, even though I couldn’t do everything.” It was about relying on God, his wife and church elders to help the ministry, he added.

Respected and loved

Joyce Tennant Stewart, former leader of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Linstead, praises Pastor Douglas’ work.

“He is a hardworking, mission-driven pastor and extremely dedicated to equipping members and others to properly share God’s Word,” Stewart said. “He is highly respected, loved, humble, kind and appreciated and never hesitates to give service to the church and the community.”

After graduating from Calabar High School in Kingston, Douglas went on to study at Northern Caribbean University (NCU) in Mandeville, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Theology in 2001 and later a Master of Arts ( MA) in religion. in 2011. Additionally, he earned a Doctor of Ministry (DMin) in Leadership from the Inter-American Adventist Theological Seminary in 2017.

Desire to become a doctor

The desire to be a doctor was always on his mind, but he always felt a call to ministry, Douglas said. However, what ultimately led him to pursue medicine was a deep conviction from the Lord that it was time.

“Upon graduating as a Doctor of Ministry, I felt that I had done all that the Lord had required of me academically to serve in His cause and His church, but in greeting people after the ceremony, one of my fellow ministerial graduates who knew my passion for health and wellness told me that now was the time to pursue medicine, others encouraged him to pursue further studies of Medicine.

Douglas describes his journey as one of God opening doors and making a way when there seemed to be no way.

Getting to this point has not been easy for Douglas. It was a stressful trip, he admitted, living and working with a family of three boys, aged 10, 11 and 15, and having to take care of school matters. He also highlighted the many times he stood up for his faith during the pursuit of this career. “Often, because of my biblical beliefs, the issues of the Sabbath, creationism and health reform led to times of tension as I would never compromise on my faith for school-related activities. “

No regrets

The studies allowed Douglas to fully appreciate the health message presented by Ellen G. White, co-founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. “Studying has also helped me realize myself and deepen my trust in God,” Douglas added. “This season has seen God work miracle after miracle for me and open doors I never thought existed.”

Health and wellness is a felt need for everyone, Douglas said. “God has prepared me to serve his church and community in a way that blends mind, body, and spirit in a holistic way that brings glory to him.”

Being able to respond to people’s needs, offer understanding of their physical ailments, and then provide spiritual guidance as well as health reform instruction is a huge blessing and joy to him, he explained.

Douglas has dedicated his life to the ministry of the gospel, but will also use his training to benefit the church and the community.

“I have no intention of quitting being a pastor,” he said. “I enjoy teaching and leading God’s people. However, I am now in my first year of training after medical school as an intern at May Pen Hospital in Clarendon, and am looking forward to getting my license so I can see patients and be able to help them achieve and maintain optimal health. »

An Adventist Prodigy

Concerns about managing family, pastoral work and studies were on the minds of church leaders in the Jamaica Central Conference, where Douglas also serves as director of health ministries. “He is now an Adventist prodigy, and he has proven that to us by meeting every challenge of church work exceptionally well while maintaining his GPA and graduating with honors,” said Pastor Nevail Barrett, president. of the Central Jamaica Conference. “We applaud and congratulate him and are extremely proud of him and his accomplishments.”

Dr. Douglas is the senior pastor of Portmore Seventh-day Adventist Church in St. Catherine, the largest Seventh-day Adventist church in Jamaica. He previously served as director of the communications, public affairs and religious liberty departments. He served in the Seventh-day Adventist Church for more than 21 years.

Douglas also finds time to provide community service as a justice of the peace for St. Catherine’s Parish and a volunteer chaplain for her Jamaican police force.

“If you feel the call of God to follow a particular course, and it is consistent with the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy, go there by the grace of God,” Douglas said. “Trust in God and His timing. I thank God for his blessing in my life. I owe him everything.

The original article was published on the Inter-American Division website.


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