Jamaica Baptist Union


The JBU traces its beginning to George Liele, a ‘free black slave’ from Atlanta Georgia who came to Jamaica in 1783 and started preaching in Kingston. His work grew and spread to other parts of the island. The Baptist Missionary Society (UK) was invited to support the work, and in 1814 they sent the first missionary to the island. The ministry continued to grow and expand under the British.
George LieleThe Baptists were very involved in the struggle for the emancipation of slavery. Three of our national heroes were Baptists. After emancipation Baptists were instrumental in establishing “free Villages” for the new emancipated people. This included buying large parcels of lands and cutting these into small holdings, which were sold to families. The villages also included a school and a Baptist Church.
The Baptists also established, in 1843, the “Calabar Theological College” for the training of Ministers for the local ministry and also as missionaries to Africa and the Caribbean. The Baptist work in the Cameroons, West Africa, was started by the Baptists of Jamaica in 1846.
In 1849, some of the Baptist Churches in Jamaica came together to form the Jamaica Baptist Union. The Baptist Churches had seven years before declared their independence of the Baptist Missionary Society.
The JBU now has 337 Churches across the island, 121 ministers and approximately 40,000 communicant members.
Baptists have two basic things which they share with the peoples of the world:
  • Common humanity and
  • shared environment.
Where they, like other religious persons in general and like other Christians in particular, differ from the rest of humankind, is in their understanding of the origins and purpose of humanity in environment. This particular understanding and the basis for arriving at such an understanding both allows for and defines Baptist distinctives as well as enabling Baptists to affirm common truths with other persons. Throughout their history, Baptists have sought to be faithful to the truth of the Gospel and to pattern the Church on the principles of fellowship found in the New Testament. However, as there has been nearly twenty centuries since the founding of the first Christian congregations and with the accompanying additions over the years, there are points at which Baptists both agree and disagree with other Christians. Baptists principles as stated below are therefore to be more accurately viewed as a Baptist understanding of the Christian faith.
 to read our beliefs in full click here
The Baptist Movement had its source in the pattern and the experience of the Christian community of the New Testament Era. As a denomination, however, Baptists emerged as a part of the Protestant Reformation which took place in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in Britain and Continental Europe. This historic phenomenon, received its name from the attempts by some to reform the beliefs and practices of the then Established and Universal Church which was closely linked to the State, and from the subsequent protests by various persons when such attempts were registered by the authorities.
To read our full origin information click here.
Name: This Organization shall be called “THE JAMAICA BAPTIST UNION”
Constituency: The Union shall consist of such Ministers and other persons as are in agreement with the Articles of Association hereafter set forth and are registered and recognised as members thereof in accordance with such Regulations as shall be enacted and adopted hereafter relative to its various activities.
To read our full constitution click here.
  • Jamaica Baptist Women’s Federation
  • Jamaica Baptist Union Brotherhood
  • Jamaica Baptist Union Youth Department
  • Christian Education Department
  • The Media Commission
  • Nutshell Conference Centre and Camp Site
  • JBU Mission Agency
To read in detail about ministries click here.