UP to 5,000 Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) members are expected to congregate at Viru community in New Georgia, Western Province, this week to celebrate the arrival of the SDA gospel in the country.
The week-long celebration was officially opened by Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo, Tuesday.
Members from all the SDA churches around the country are attending the 100th centenary celebrations.
The theme for the celebration is “We’ve come this far by Faith”.
Solomon Islands Mission (SIM) president George Fafale congratulated the church (SDA) for its 100th year of existence.
“Today marks another landmark in the history of the seventh-day Adventist church in the Solomon Islands through this centenary celebration,” Pr Fafale said.
He stated that there are four important aspects to remind members and their children through the celebration.
“Firstly, it reminds us of the arrival of the gospel message to Solomon Islands through the Seventh-day Adventist church by pastor Griffith Jones and his wife Marion.
“Secondly, it reminds us of the power of God through the gospel that changed heathenism, cannibalism, spiritism and tribalism into Christianity.
“Thirdly, it reminded us to show our gratitude to tribal chiefs from each island group that invited and accepted the pioneers with the Advent message and provide land for them to establish on and to see what the church has done to this nation through our pioneers and the church (members),” Pr Fafale said.
Meanwhile, Pr Fafale thanked Prime Minister Lilo for accepting their invitation to attend the occasion.
“Your presence with us at this opening program reveals to us that you are a true Solomon Islands leader.
“A leader that upholds Solomon Islands a Christian country and respects religious programmes,” he said.
Pr Fafale said 100 years ago, the message of hope through the SDA church reached these heathen islands with great positive impact on its people.
He added that in history, we see the growth of the church evolving through the last 100 years with a lot of development.
“The work started in 1914 by Pastor Griffith Jones, his wife Marion and followed by a stream of expatriate pioneers.
“Few years later, local people who have been converted joined the expatriate team and together fought the battle through sweat and blood in establishing schools and medical services, that split the power of heathenism and opened up the work of Gospel in the Solomon Islands.”
The week-long celebration, which started Tuesday, will conclude on Monday.
By STEPHEN DIISANGO