In 1972, a small group of self-taught Lutherans gathered on the small island of Antigua in the northeast corner of the Caribbean. They heard about Lutheran teachings through a second-hand Catechism and distant radio broadcasts from Puerto Rico. They wanted to know more.
The budding congregation eventually received support from the WELS through missionaries and teachers. The congregation started to grow and purchased property and built a small multi-use facility that housed a school during the week and worship services and Sunday school on the weekends. By God’s grace, St. John’s Lutheran Church and School was born.
The congregation now serves more than 700 souls, and the school has 350 children from pre-school through grade 6. During a typical Sunday morning worship service at St. John’s, a single steel pan plays along with a keyboard to lead the hymn singing. During special services, an entire steel pan group plays. The pan group doesn’t just serve St. John’s in worship, but it also serves as an outreach tool as children come to the church to learn how to play pan.
We are thankful that the Lord has raised up called workers from St. John’s membership. The lead pastor, Rev. Jason Richards, is a son of the congregation as is the school principal, Joel Molyneaux. The school faculty consists of fourteen teachers and six assistants. Only two from that staff are supported by outside mission dollars in addition to the one missionary that serves as one of the pastors. Four members from St. John’s are currently studying at Martin Luther College and will return, Lord willing, to teach at St. John’s in the near future.
The members of St. John’s are also working to upgrade their worship sanctuary and have plans to expand the school into the upper grades (7-12).