7 Day Tour 1 – Ethiopian Baptists – Journey to Emancipation

Our 7 Day Ethiopian Baptists tour involves travelling around the island and learning about the Ethiopian Baptist movement, including its leaders, who include George Lisle, Miss Cooper and Moses Baker, and martyrs Sam Sharpe, Paul Bogle and George William Gordon. In taking this tour you will learn about their role in leading the movement from enslavement to emancipation and freedom.

Day 1 – Arrival – Kingston  (o/n Kingston)

The evening will comprise of a brief lecture to prepare all participants for the tour ahead. A communal meal may be arranged either within the hotel or within the local area, depending on the groups preference and local events/activities.

Day 2 – Kingston (o/n Kingston)

We begin our tour by visiting the ‘birthplace’ of African American George Lisle’s Ethiopian Baptist movement in Kingston through its churches; Windward Road, East Queen Street (Church and Calabar School), Hanover Street and the Kingston Tabernacle. There will also be 'visits' to the location/ruins of the asylum,  gaol,  courthouse, and Fort. The tour will conclude with a visit to the cofee plantation at Clifton Mount upon which was a Baptist chapel established to serve those who were enslaved on the plantation.  Clifton Mount being in the Blue Mountains continues to be famous for its coffee, varities of which you will be invited to taste.

Day 3 - Kingston – St Catherine – Manchester – St Elizabeth (o/n St Elizabeth)

Today we begin our day in Spanish Town – Jamaica’s capital until 1872, visiting ruins of the Governor’s residence, House of Assembly, prison, and Phillippo Baptist Church, founded by African American George Gibb. This church has the only remaining identifiable liberty tree where the emancipated slaves buried their chains and shackles on Emancipation day.  We will then journey to Clarendon and Jericho Baptist Church, the home of the only know female leader in the movement, Miss Cooper. Our journey then continues through the parish of Manchester, a mission station of George Lewis. Lewis was a native of Guinea, enslaved in Virginia, USA and then transported to Jamaica. He was one of the first marytrs, executed for holding a prayer meeting. Finally we continue on to Black River, another site of martyrdom, but also known today for its birds and crocodiles and so look forward to taking one of its famous boat rides.

Day 4 - St Elizabeth – Westmoreland – St James – Falmouth (o/n Falmouth)

Today we travel to the heart of the 1831-1832 Baptist War led by Sam Sharpe, visiting sites of churches established by New Yorker, Moses Baker.  We will visit places of resistance: Retrieve plantation, Crooked Spring Chapel site, Salter’s Hill Chapel ruins, Vaughan’s Field, and Adelphi plantation. Our day will conclude in Montego Bay the site of Sharpe's execution, visit the church in which he worshipped and was laid to rest, the Courthouse, gaol, harbour and town centre where there is a memorial to Sharpe and all those those who were executed. During this stop you will also have time to go shopping in the local market and shops. Our tour will conclude at Falmouth Baptist Chapel wherein lies symbols of emancipation built by emancipated africans. Falmouth is also the resting place of William Knibb, emancipator and the only Jamaican national hero who hails from Britain. The day will conclude either with a raft ride on the Martha Brae River, or in Falmouth with an evening cruise on the famous luminous lagoon.

Day 5 - Falmouth –  St Ann  - Ocho Rios – Falmouth (o/n  St Mary)

Today involves a visit to the churches and communities in the country areas established by African Americans John Gilbert, Moses Baker and George Gibb and which continue to have some of the oldest and most established congregations directly descended from those first Ethiopian Baptists.  With an early start we  will drive through Clarke’s Town and Jackson Town, places of resistance during the Baptist War, before visiting Stewart Town, Brown’s Town, and Gibraltar Baptist churches where as recently as 1888 an Ethiopian Baptist  left for the mission field via the American Baptist Missionary Society. These visits will conclude with a cultural presentation by the young people of the Baptist churches in this region.  Refreshments will be shared before moving on to St Ann’s Bay Baptist Church, folklore speaking of it as having been established by an African – Mother Russell. it is also the only known location of a Liberty Grave. The day will conclude with a visit to either Dolphin Cove and Dunn’s River Falls or Coyaba Falls (for the more mature traveller).

Day 6 –St Mary – St Thomas – Kingston (o/n Kingston)

On this our penultimate day, we will make our way south again to St Thomas, to congregations which were led by Parson Kellick, Paul Bogle and George William Gordon lived.  Our first stop however will be the site of Rodney Hall Court and Workhouse, once known as the ‘hell hole of Jamaica’ where  African Christians of all faiths were placed, simply for praying. In St Thomas we will visit Morant Bay, including the Courthouse, the site of Stony Gut village and Chapel where the greatest genocide of Ethiopian Baptists took place, leading to its demise.  We will visit Hayfield, Monklands and Bath  renowned for its healing mineral waters  before returning through Yallah’s, and 11 miles to Kingston.

Day 7 – Departure – Airports

As we bid you a fond farewell, if you have not made other plans on the island, then depending on the time of your  flight time, why not use your time in Kingston  to visit the Bob Marley Museum, National Heroes Park,  Devon House, or the Craft Market and Uptown Plaza.

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