JM | Jan 8, 2022

New church established in Kingston amid Ethiopian Christmas celebrations

/ Our Today


The Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox Churches (EOTC) celebrated Ethiopian Christmas, Lidet or Gena ‘Birth of Christ’ around the world yesterday (January 7), along with the establishment of a new church in Kingston, Felge Hiwot MedhaneAlem Church, for the propagation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the dissemination of the teaching and tradition of the ancient Tewahedo Christian religion. 

The historic moments for the EOTC in Jamaica took place in the context of a 43-day fasting period that began on Hidar 15, 2014 Ethiopian Calendar (November 24, 2021, local calendar) and ended on Tahsas 29, 2014 Ethiopian Calendar (January 7, 2022, local calendar).

Inaugural service at Felge Hiwot MedhaneAlem

The Archdiocese of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in the Caribbean and Latin America has its headquarters located in Arouca, Trinidad & Tobago operates under the Archbishop, His Grace Abuna Thaddaeus, member of Ethiopian Holy Synod and who has served the Caribbean people for over 50 years as well as Archimandrite and Cosmos Abba Gebreyesus Weldesamuels Negatu, head administrator. 

Ethiopian Orthodox Church in the Caribbean and Latin America, Archbishop, His Grace Abuna Thaddaeus and Archimandrite and Cosmos Abba Gebreyesus Weldesamuels Negatu, Head Administrator. 

The headquarters for Jamaica  is located at Holy Trinity Parish Bete Selam at 89 Maxfield Avenue in Kingston. The other established churches exist in Ocho Rios, St Ann, Savanna-la-mar, Westmoreland and the St Gabriel mission in Hope Bay, Portland which operates three basic schools – namely Holy Trinity, St Issacs and St Tekle Haimanot.

On December 17, Archimandrite Abba Gebreyesus Negatu, together with the assembled local clergy and faithful, administered the consecration of the space earmarked for the place of worship with Holy oil, Holy water, olive branches, accompanied by prescribed Psalms and prayers, in the tradition of the EOTC.

This was immediately followed by the ecclesiastical rite of the installation of the Tabot,  replica of the Ark of the Covenant, and the proclamation of the official name of this newly-created Parish Church in the Kingston Metropolitan Area as Felge  Hiwot MedhaneAlem, meaning Spring of Life of the Saviour of the World.

Abba Gebreyesus Weldesamuels Negatu, Head Administrator, EOTC Clergy and members of MedhaneAlem

The Tabot is a sacred artifact that represents the replica of the Ark of the Covenant, believed to have been brought to Ethiopia by Menelik I, the son of King Solomon and Queen of Sheba. It is placed on the Altar of every officially constituted and established Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Parish Church. The sanctity of each Parish Church depends upon the presence of the Tabot and the administration of worship services is also based on its presence. The first service occurred on the morning of December 18, 2021. This historic milestone in the life of the EOTC in Jamaica climaxed with the central act of worship in the life of the Church, the celebration of the Holy Communion Service.

The Faithful and Clergy of the EOTC in Jamaica are commemorating the Holy Feast of Christmas on January 7, when Christians of the Orthodox Tradition all over the world will be saluting and paying homage to this great Mystery of Redemption, whereby the Eternal Word and Son of God has become man for the salvation of humankind.

The opening of a new parish of the EOTC, located temporarily at 57 Mannings Hill Road of the Havendale Premises of the Salvation Army School for the Blind, serves as an additional access point for members, and other potential members and enquirers.

Additionally, under the guidance and leadership His Grace Archbishop Thaddaeus and the overseers of the Felge Hiwot MedhaneAlem Parish, led by the Priest-in-Charge, Kes Wolde Dawit, are said to be praying fervently and working earnestly in order to reach out to a broader segment of the Jamaican population.


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