Carey Sayles in concert at the George Town Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Jamaican gospel singer and song writer Carey Sayles last Saturday afternoon (22 July, 2017) electrified a capacity audience at the George Town Seventh-day Adventist Church as the feature artiste in a three-hour gospel concert.

Mr. Sayles was in Cayman for a free performance in support of the church’s youth ministry.

The packed church clapped, waved, sang and otherwise showed their delight in response to the high-energy style of artiste Sayles. The musical experience as he belted out several medleys and songs over the course of the afternoon’s musical extravaganza was made even more moving by interspersed snippets of his life story.

That story is one of particular determination and deep faith despite often devastating obstacles, rising today as he has to the heights of a musical career and establishing himself as a professional in the Jamaica public service.

Carey Sales in concert.

Growing up in the Arnett Garden area of Trench Town, he survived to tell the tale of several close death experiences: “I saw men killed and most of my friends turning to guns,” he said, “but because of my mother’s and stepfather’s care and guidance, and the protection of my Heavenly Father, I was able to resist the forces of evil.”

So instead of succumbing to the pressures of an environment that has had such deadly impacts on young lives, today he is a graduate of the Mandeville-headquartered Northern Caribbean University, with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He is now a supervisor at the Jamaica National Housing Trust.

During Saturday’s service, Mr. Sayles related what he classed as divine intervention in enabling the Sayles’ family to expand with the addition of two children, despite doctors’ grim prognoses regarding his wife’s health.

As a result of these real life experiences, he could testify, he said, to God’s continuing interventions in his life.

Women of Purpose were among local groups performing at the Carey Sayles concert.

Joining his church’s children’s choir when he was just six years old, he moved on to sing in youth choirs, establishing himself as a young up and coming talent. Notably, he later became the lead singer for the Maranatha Ministry Group, a group of Christian singers from Trench Town and other Adventist churches.

Today, he ministers to people at crusades, churches, concerts and various community programmes across Jamaica and internationally. His music ministry has taken him to Bermuda, Trinidad, and the United States. He had also made previous visits to the Cayman Islands.

Explaining the background to the visit, George Town Church’s AY (Adventist Youth) leader, Ms Camecia Barrett, said that the afternoon’s programme was an aspect of her department’s observance of Youth Month.

A section of the 12-member Andante group that evolved from among the George Town Church’s Praise and Worship teams.

She said that the AY department had set the tone for youth initiatives early in 2017 with the development of a “prayer scroll” on which were inscribed the names of youth no longer attending.

This emphasis on the church and community’s youth and families includes monthly “prayer walks” into various George Town communities, where they pray, share their faith, and get to know needs. The AY department also occasionally collaborates with other departments to host visitations and Bible studies in the central George Town community.

In addition, to Mr. Sayles’ musical fare, the afternoon’s programme included performances by local individual and group singers: Mr. Courney McCook; Ms Rachel Ebanks; Women of Purpose; the twelve-member Andante; Ms Shanneilla Campbell; Melodicx (a group comprising current students and recent graduates of Cayman Academy); and Andrew Ramdon.

Masters of ceremonies for the service was Mrs. Camile Beckford-Johnson and Mr. Joshua Lawrence.

At the end of the evening’s inspiring musical presentations, some six persons responded to an altar call.

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