Gunmen Shoot Adventist Pastor
in Robbery Attempt
Seventh-day Adventist pastor in Jamaica is recovering after receiving gunshot wounds in a May 10 robbery attempt. Local police are investigating the crime.
Pastor Egnal Grant, age 49, underwent four hours of surgery to abdominal gunshot wounds at the Cornwall Regional Hospital in St. James, West Jamaica.
Grant reports three gunmen ambushed him soon after he arrived at his Irwindale, St. James home Thursday evening. Pastor Glen Samuels, president of the Adventist church in West Jamaica, spoke to Grant soon after his surgery. According to his report, after the gunmen shot Grant, they searched him and demanded money. Grant told the attackers he was an Adventist pastor, after which they escaped.
Grant, who was alone at the time of the attack, was taken to the hospital by neighbors. He is now recovering from injuries to his small intestine.
The staff of the West Jamaica Conference met on Friday morning, May 11. They expressed gratitude over Grant's spared life, but also alarm over the rash of gun-related crime in Jamaica in recent years. "We continue to be concerned about the ... use of guns in this particular part of our Island," Samuels said. "As a church we pledge to continue our support to this nation to restore and salvage our young men who have fallen in the unfortunate trap of vicious violence."
Speaking with the Jamaica Observer, a local newspaper, Samuels said Jamaica’s government had a role to play in helping to prevent crime: "I would wish that government would look at some of the programs that the churches are implementing for the social and moral [uplift] of these youngsters and help us with some of these programs," Samuels said.
"We will not be letting up with social intervention programs. Many of them [the misguided youths] don't have anything to do, [and have] no hope. They don't have any leadership in their homes and they seek leadership in the community and the sad thing is they sometimes attach themselves to the wrong kind of leadership. The church must continue its programs of reaching out to these youngsters," he added.
This is not the first time the Adventist church in Jamaica has committed to quelling violent crime. Formal efforts began when, in 2003, Samuels was held at gunpoint by a well-known local gang leader. The Adventist church in Jamaica says it will continue to reach out to the island nation's considerable unemployed population who often turn to a life of crime.
—Adventist News Network/AR Staff