Radical Grenadian pastor defends appearance at Yuletide reggae concert

A radical religious leader in Grenada has strongly defended his decision to appear on stage during a Christmas reggae concert featuring several popular Jamaican artistes.

"It is not about the church, it is about going where the sinners are."

"It is not about the church, it is about going where the sinners are."

Pastor Stanford Simon of the St. George’s Baptist Church has been under fire from many quarters here, including the religious community, after delivering the opening prayer at the concert marking the 4th anniversary of the Caribbean music channel Tempo, which included performances from Jah Cure, Ce’cile and Deville.

However, reacting to the criticism during a radio programme Thursday, Pastor Simon said as far as he was concerned he was only doing God’s work.

This was something out of the normal. A request like that is not a normal request. You don’t get those things every week, or every month or every year,” he explained.

I am clear in my mind that what God has called me to do is different. It may be controversial for some persons but it is a calling that is on my life. I am very comfortable with what I am doing.”

Pastor Simon has consistently criticised the church for not doing enough to reach out to the people and has repeatedly called on religious leaders to embark on outreach programmes in order to promote Christianity.

In recent years, he has been credited for his role in bringing gang leaders together to broker a deal to end a spate of gang violence which had rocked the country.

In every generation God calls people to do things that are very different sometimes out of the norm. Through the pages of the Bible, God has used very ordinary people to do extraordinary things,” said Pastor Simon, who has also been fronting a campaign to unite churches across the island.

It is not about the church, it is about going where the sinners are. This is my response to those who feel uncomfortable with what I have done with Tempo,” he said, adding “I have a responsibility to proclaim the word of God”.

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