Lighthouse Assembly using music to save youth
Head of the Lighthouse Assembly Ministries in Spanish Town, St Catherine, Bishop Rowan Edwards, is seeking to reach youth using music.
The church launched the Lighthouse Music Academy and television studio on Sunday which Edwards believes will assist with that strategy.
"We realised there are some students, especially in the high schools, that are talented, but not academically inclined. We want to save them," he said.
"The church has been here for 35 years and has seen many youth fall to crime. So we are doing our part to change that," Edwards said. "We are in collaboration with the schools to help with recruitment."
Reverend Paul Mason, chairman of the Spanish Town Ministers Fraternal, endorsed the venture as being meaningful and life-changing to many.
"Bishop Edwards is a visionary and this venture to save the youth through music is simply an honourable thing. I feel a great joy and privilege to see the church giving hope to the future," Mason said. The students will be instructed by professional music teachers at a cost to be shared with corporate sponsors.
The academy will train its students in playing the guitar, saxophone, keyboard, piano as well as drumming.
"I am a music teacher at the Dinthill Technical High School and I will be managing the academy. I am honoured to be a part of the venture to change lives through music," Kevaughn Hemmings said. Two of the students who are set to benefit from the teaching, expressed their approval of the venture.
"I do think that this is like getting a chance to make a meaningful and fulfilling change in one's life," Kevan Ferguson said. Meanwhile, fellow student Dejaynae Cox also welcomed the chance.
"I am very pleased to be a part of this. I will be doing piano and hope that in time to come, they [the church] will add dancing to the academy," Cox said.
Edwards said that HEART/NSTA Trust will be certifying the participants.