History of the Bahá’í Faith in Jamaica
In 1942 Dr. Malcolm King, a dentist of Jamaican
background who had been living in the United
States for some time, and who had embraced
the Bahá’í Faith there came to Jamaica with
the express purpose of teaching the Cause of
Bahá’u’lláh to his fellow Jamaicans.
Dr. King held meetings at 190 Orange Street in
Kingston. By 1943, five people had embraced
the Faith after having been taught by him. After
he left the island, the nucleus of Bahá’ís taught
the Faith and by April 1943 were able to form
a Local Spiritual Assembly in Kingston. The
Jamaican community was by 1961 sufficiently
strong to elect its National Spiritual Assembly.
In 1965 partly through the efforts of a Jamaican Bahá’í teacher who moved to there, ten persons in the Cayman Islands became Bahá’ís and later a Local Spiritual Assembly was formed.
In 1971 the Bahá’í Caribbean Conference was
held in Kingston Jamaica. Twelve hundred
Bahá’í from across the Caribbean, the United
States and Central America attended this
A conference that was officially opened by
Governor General Sir Clifford Campbell.
Over the years the Faith has grown and there
are communities in every parish in the island.
Emphasis has been placed not only on spiritualization but also
on the social aspects of
life. True to the injunction of Bahá’u’lláh to “Be
anxiously concerned with the needs of the age
ye live in, and center your deliberations on its
exigencies and requirements”, Bahá’ís have
been involved in community activities in a number of areas around the island. These have been focused largely on education.
Bahá’ís in Jamaica have made considerable efforts to promote religious unity in keeping with the guidance of Bahá’u’lláh to “Consort with the followers of all religions in a spirit of friendliness and fellowship”. In 1950 the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States of America introduced the celebration of World Religion Day. The first World Religion Day Observance in Jamaica was held on January 20th,1974 at the Kingston and St. Andrew Parish Library where the Hindu, Christian, Jewish and Bahá’í Faiths were represented. This event is now hosted annually by the Bahá’í community in Jamaica.
In 2003 the Bahá’í community celebrated the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the first Bahá’í Local Spiritual Assembly in Jamaica with a number of activities. To mark the occasion the then Governor General of Jamaica Sir Howard Cooke proclaimed 25 July 2003 as "Bahá’í Day" and made this announcement on 23 July 2003 at a ceremony at King's House.
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Jamaica
208 Mountain View Ave, Kingston 6