Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia “Babsy” Grange, has called upon churches to help grow the country’s Reggae gospel industry.
During her speech at the 2023 Reggae Month Church Service held at Fellowship Tabernacle in Kingston, she said, “Our churches need to join us, in a more fulsome way, in creating an even larger Reggae gospel industry.”
Grange encouraged churches to discover and cultivate gospel bands and vocal talents across Jamaica, inviting them to “unleash them on the world in reverence and praise.” She acknowledged that there was a time when some felt that Reggae music should not be heard in the church, but that perception is changing.
“Through and in Reggae music, persons have found motivation to press on and not despair through hard times,” Grange stated. “They have found a platform of solidarity where oppressed people could bond as they seek common solutions to mental, spiritual and economic anguish, and they have found the globally unifying theme of one love.”
Grange emphasized that Reggae music promotes reverence and praise, citing the verse in “Redemption Song” by Jamaican reggae icon the late Robert Nesta Marley, which states, “Our hands were made strong by the hand of the Almighty, and we forward in this generation, triumphantly.”
The Minister also pointed out that Reggae, one of Jamaica’s indigenous music genres, has brought wealth and purpose to the lives of vulnerable Jamaicans. “Jamaicans have been able to create livelihoods of substance for their families and communities,” Grange noted. “We should take that gift with humility.”
Grange concluded that the Ministry is seeking to expand its outreach to provide more opportunities for young people in the music industry “so they can get their share… and use it in a positive way.”