The Caribbean Christian Centre for the Deaf operates three schools on the island of Jamaica. They are residential facilities that allows us to bring in the rural deaf that would otherwise not have access to the gospel of Jesus Christ or to a language, basic education or vocational training.
The Caribbean Christian Centre for the Deaf is a ministry that brings the gospel of Jesus Christ to the deaf of Jamaica. Through this ministry we will teach the deaf a language, provide a basic education, train in vocational areas, mentor and encourage the leaders and promote outreach, community, worship, and continuing education.
That none will leave our care without a language, an education, a skill and a personal knowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord.
CCCD was founded in June of 1958 by the Reverend Willis Ethridge and his wife, Mildred, two Christian missionaries from Ontario, Canada. In February of 1957, the Ethridges had been dispatched to Jamaica by the Ontario Mission for the Deaf, and started the Christian Deaf Fellowship Center in Kingston. In October of 1957 they were joined in the work by Paula Montgomery, an American, who was deaf herself. Paula Montgomery was the first deaf, American missionary.
In June of 1958 the three missionaries were offered a one year lease of “Bethel,” a property located in Manchester Parish, Jamaica owned by the Open Bible Standard Churches of Iowa. This marked the official beginning of CCCD. The school opened with eight students and a staff of three.
In September of 1962 the school moved to its present location in Knockpatrick. By 1967 the enrollment was forty students. Today the Knockpatrick campus serves over 130 students.
Construction on the Montego Bay Campus started in 1990 on 7 ½ acres of land generously donated to CCCD. On 29 August 1994 the school opened with three children. By January 1995 nineteen children were enrolled and two-years later the number had increased to 45. Today the MoBay campus serves around 60 students.
On July 6, 1994, the Caribbean Christian Centre for the Deaf took possession of the old Christian Deaf Fellowship campus at 4 Cassia Park Road in Kingston. This facility, nestled in the heart of Kingston, gave CCCD an open door to the deaf in the city that is home to half the population of Jamaica. The Kingston campus of CCCD began on two acres of land, with the needed dormitory, classroom, kitchen and dining room to serve the 15 deaf students during its first year. By 1996 the student body had already increased to 44 students. Today the Kingston campus serves around 70 students.
In June 1984 God led the CCCD ministry to begin the development of the Jamaica Deaf Village on 100 acres of land in order to provide, through its church, a place where the deaf can worship God and be nurtured in a godly environment, to love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30).
The deaf graduating from high school have a difficult time finding employment. An employer who does not have the ability to communicate with the deaf normally will not hire them. No job means no money; no money means no funds for one’s basic needs. The dilemma becomes acute as the deaf sometimes turn to desperate means to provide the necessities of life.
At the JDV campus a church for the deaf was built and a factory so the deaf can support themselves. Apartments and small houses are being built where the deaf can live and raise their families. Thus began many miracles including the provision of the one hundred acres of land, missionaries, and work teams to do the construction, as well as funds to get the work started.
Eight years lapsed before the first cement block was laid. Ten more years went by in which many miracles of our God have been mingled with many trying circumstances.Finally on Monday, 15 July 2002, the first villagers moved onto the campus. On Wednesday, 17 July 2002, the first steam-bent wooden rocking chair was manufactured in the factory at the Jamaica Deaf Village.
The first church service was held at the Village on 21 July 2002. Rev. Gary Williams, who plants deaf churches within the hearing churches of Kingston, led the first worship service. There were between fifty and sixty deaf present that Sunday. It has been delightful to watch the deaf worshipping, fellowshipping and growing in Christ Jesus.
What an amazing, great, and wonderful God we have the privilege of knowing, the honor of serving and the confidence of trusting.
For more information visit www.cccdjamaica.org