Origin of CLF
Mona Fellowship was born out of a period of revival among young people which started in the mid 1970's. Our official starting point as a church was July 1981, but our roots can be traced back to the mid 1970's.
During 1974, a sovereign work of God began in some high schools in the corporate area of Kingston. This resulted in the conversion of a large group of young men and women. This awakening spread quickly to schools in rural areas and eventually to the University of the West Indies and other tertiary educational institutions by 1978.
Richard McCaw played a vital role during this period, as a full-time evangelist and Bible teacher, who frequently visited Jamaica College, Kingston College, Wolmer's and other schools. Richard's house in Hughenden was made available for Bible studies and prayer meetings during the summer holidays.
Out of this fellowship time, a vibrant young people's fellowship started at Richard McCaw's home at which large numbers of young people gathered on Saturdays. Eventually, it was necessary to divide the group into three, with weekly Saturday afternoon meetings at Mona Heights, Kencot, and Marathon Drive.
During the mid 1970's, Deeper Life Ministries, (DLM), begun holding annual charismatic teaching conferences and weekly prayer breakfast meetings. Most of the young people became involved in the ministry of D.L.M. The influence of D.L.M. was profound, since these young Christians were introduced to systematic bible teaching from established ministers such as Derek Prince and others. When D.L.M. started small communities of Christians under the leadership of a 'shepherd' called 'covenant groups', some of the leaders of the young people's group were trained and installed as shepherds. In later years, most of the young leaders withdrew their involvement from this ministry.
The revival which started in several High Schools spread to the University of the West Indies in 1976. This climaxed in November 1977 when many students accepted Christ and begun meeting in cell groups. There was phenomenal growth in the Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship on Campus.
The Campus experience resulted in deep bonds being established between Christians in cell groups and in the general fellowship. Chris Duval, Joe Campbell, and Rawle Tyson conducted Bible studies on New Testament Church life in their covenant/discipleship groups. A great desire arose among many of the people saved, revived, and nurtured on Campus for continued fellowship and church life after leaving Campus. This all climaxed in a call by Chris Duval to the leaders of various small groups to bring together the resources of their individual groups and ministries into a local church.
The first meetings started in June 1981, at the CAST (now University of Technology) Chapel. People from various groups soon began attending the meetings including Ansel Aiken's group, the brethren from Jamaica College, some ex-leaders of covenant groups and others. The group soon outgrew the Chapel, and we begun meeting at the Old Library on UWI Campus. From there, the meetings moved to the UWI Student's Union building and in 1990 we begun meeting at the Jamaica College Auditorium. We relocated to our own premises at 21a Gordon Town Road in November 1999 and on December 12 of the same year, our fellowship was re-dedicated and renamed Christian Life Fellowship – with the byline...Advancing God’s Kingdom.
In 1983, an agreement was undertaken for the church to lease premises at 8 East Kings House Road which had a dwelling and a separate large garage. The whole complex was located on a large parcel of land.
This property became the headquarters and offices for the Fellowship. Accommodation for some members of the church family was provided and, also, prayer meetings and other fellowship meetings took place there. The location was ideal for socials and a mini supermarket was established in the garage. The facilities at 8 East Kings House Road contributed significantly to the life of the church. In 1989, the premises were sold by its owners and new offices for our church were found at 87 Constant Spring Road.
In January 1985, a non-profit company called Church Services was registered to meet the legal requirements of the government and enable the church to conduct certain business transactions and obtain tax reduction benefits. The directors of this company were chosen from the leadership of the church. The Directors are now the elders and deacons in office from time to time.
During the period 1990-1993, there were significant developments in the church’s acquisition of assets. Two properties were purchased, (three quarters of an acre on Lincoln Avenue and half an acre on Molynes Road). These properties were subsequently sold and reinvested in the current facility at Gordon Town Road. High quality equipment such as a public address system, musical instruments, chairs, a photocopier, and other assets were acquired by Church Services.
Over the years, several significant developments have taken place in the ministry of our fellowship. Several ministries were initiated by members of our fellowship and by people closely associated with the church. These include various discipleship training and outreach ministry programmes conducted in August Town, Denham Town, Papine, Bowden (St. Thomas), Portland, and Peter's Rock (St. Andrew) among others. There have also been several trans-local ministries established around Prayer, (Jamaica House of Prayer/Harry Walott), Community Transformation (Operation Save Jamaica and Street Pastors/Bruce Fletcher), Men’s Ministry (Mentoring A Nation/Michael McAnuff-Jones), Human Trafficking Intervention (Pursued/Stacy-Ann Smith), Majesty Gardens Mission/Douglas Simpson, and others.
During the latter part of the 1980s, the Peter's Rock Christian (Preparatory) School (PRCS) - an initiative of Michael & Marcia Anderson and the His Wings home for street boys - an initiative of Helen-Ann Bennett-Brown were both established.
Winston Ricketts and his family moved to Mandeville and became involved in church planting. This resulted in the birth of the Mandeville Family Church. Ansel Aitken migrated to Curacao where he pastored an independent church fellowship.
Robert Lewison left Jamaica for the mission field as a missionary to Mexico. Andre Davis joined Youth With a Mission and served in discipleship training and missions. Many of our members migrated over the years to various foreign countries, where they have been making an impact in other local churches; some have started churches and para-church ministries. The call of the church has in retrosepct been unfolding for many years.
Over the years, we have seen God's hand in preserving and blessing the fellowship, and there is much for us to be thankful.