God's mercy has kept me
Name: Dr Gary Welsh
Church: Jordon Road New Testament Church of God in St Andrew.
How long have you been saved? I have been saved since 1978. I was baptised by Bishop Herro Blair at a tent crusade along Molynes Road, St Andrew.
How did you get your conviction? My conviction was a natural progression. I grew up with my mother in the Church of God of Prophecy. I was mischievous but was in church. Ever since I have been conscious I have been a committed follower of biblical principles. I lived under my mother's Christian influence and her prayer. One month after leaving home, I realised that I needed to establish my own roots, and the first root I put down was to ground myself in church.
What has been your most challenging moment? The most challenging experience I have had is my disappointment in myself. When I left home to join the police force at 17, it was less than two years after my elder
brother, who was also a policeman, was shot dead. So I left home feeling that I had to be more than the ordinary police officer because I felt I had to finish his job. In addition to that, my father could not read and write, but he shared with me as a young boy that he wanted to be a police officer, and so I took on that and felt that I should live his unfulfilled part.
I served for 12 years then went off to study; however, I found that though I studied, there was a yearning for law enforcement, and an opportunity came when there was a need to fill the post of assistant chaplain.
By then, I had completed Bethel Bible College and was called to ministry. I went back to the Force as an assistant chaplain and psychologist. Within a year, I was asked to head the then Jamaica Police Academy in Spanish Town. The hands of God moved mightily, and within a year, I was able to turn that place around.
What has been your most miraculous moment? It was a situation where, of course, you have to trust people to watch your back. The person or persons who I trusted were not there to watch my back, and I was left exposed, and had it not been for the grace of Almighty God, I would have gone under, but His mercy kept me, and I am here to rejoice and share a testimony.
Message to Christians: My message to the believers is the same message I heard when I came to know the Lord as my personal Saviour back in 1978. 'Coming soon, He is coming soon'. With the busy life, with all the possibilities of prosperity and success, it is easy for us to lose sight of the fact that He is coming soon. Listen to what He said to: 'Occupy till I come'. Do not become so occupied that you forget that He is coming.
Message to non-Christians: Especially those who are in what I call the free world, you ought to understand the significant opportunity that we have to share the Gospel. Some persons literally pay for their salvation with their lives. The scripture says, 'Let us redeem the time for the days are evil'. I do not believe that this freedom is going to last forever. 'So today, if you hear His voice, harden not your heart'.
Favourite Bible scripture: 1Timothy 12.
Favourite chorus: 'Am pressing on the upward way; new heights am gaining every day, still praying as I onward bound; Lord plant my feet on higher ground.'