Repent! - Mayor, pastor tell Retrieve to turn from wicked ways
Residents of the troubled community of Retrieve in St James have been told to repent of the evil they have been committing.
The call for repentance came from Montego Bay's Mayor Homer Davis, who is the councillor for the Cambridge Division and the Jamaica Labour Party caretaker for South St James.
"I think the people of Retrieve should seek repentance here today. You should all get down on your knees and ask the pastor to pray for you," said Mayor Davis.
He was paying tribute at the funeral for Ann-Marie Johnson, 44, and her 24-year-old daughter, Shantoy McKenzie. The two, who are related to reputed gangster Ryan 'Ratty' Peterkin, were murdered on November 17 last year.
Their funeral was held under the heavy presence of the security forces on Sunday.
Davis likened his call for repentance to that of the people of Nineveh in The Bible who were given 40 days to repent.
"Today, a similar call for repentance is being made to those who sit by the roadside and make the phone calls when the police are passing Cambridge. Your day will be coming soon, and those in the community who send the food, some that wash the clothes, some that even hide their guns, your day will be coming soon," Davis warned. "You are all seeing everything that is happening and continue to remain blind [but] ... understand that by doing that, your day will be coming too."
Davis was supported by outspoken pastor Glen Samuels, president of the West Jamaica Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists, who charged during his sermon that "the curse of Almighty God rests on every unrepentant murderer."
"I challenge you that if you are here as a perpetrator of violence, there is mercy with God if you will repent and turn from your wicked ways [and] there are restorative justice," an animated Pastor Samuels declared. "I must challenge the Cambridge community, Retrieve community, and every community in western Jamaica that is beset by violence, we must be bold enough to say what we know to seek the truth and to stand up in being our brother's keeper."