by Dr. Clifton L. Holland

(last revised on June 12, 2003)

Historical Overview:

Discovery by Christopher Columbus on several voyages to the New World:                      1492-1502

Under various Spanish, Portuguese and French colonial powers:                                   1490s-1800

British take control of St. Vincent and the Grenadines:                                                           1796

Under British control (except for Martinique, which remains in French control):       Early 19th century


Indicates European society*

Significant Protestant Beginnings or Events on the following islands:  Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Martinique, St. Lucia and St. Vincent-Grenadines; also included are the British and U.S. Virgin Islands.

     1626       -    *Anglican chaplains arrive with British occupation; the Church of England becomes the Established Church after the first Anglican priest arrived on Barbados; in 1824 the Windward and Leeward Islands, along with Trinidad and Guyana, were formed into the Diocese of Barbados; the separate Diocese of the Windward Islands was created in 1878; this area is now part of the Church in the Province of the West Indies.


     1635       -    *French Huguenot colonists settled on Martinique and Guadalupe; this was the basis for the development of the Reformed Church of the Antilles.


     1660       -    *French settlement established on St. Lucia; the Roman Catholic Church established on St. Lucia in 1719; in 1814 the British take control of St. Lucia as part of the Treaty of Paris.


     1765       -    *The Moravian Church arrives on Barbados as an extension of its work in Antigua; the work was restarted in 1770; later, work was begun on St. Lucia; today, the Eastern West Indies Province of the Moravian Church is headquartered in Barbados.


     1787       -    *The Wesleyan Methodist Church began work in St. Vincent as an extension of its ministry in Antigua and St. Kitts, under the authority of Bishop Dr. Thomas Coke in Jamaica; other islands were also visited and work was started on Barbados, Grenada and St. Lucia (1809); in 1968, these islands became part of the Conference of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas.


     1833       -    The Presbyterian Church of Granada, affiliated with the Church of Scotland


     1903       -    The Seventh-day Adventists, South Caribbean Conference; East Caribbean Conference organized in 1926.


     1936       -    Church of God World Missions (Cleveland, TN) in Barbados.


     1946       -    Baptist Mid-Missions in St. Vincent.


     1951       -    World Team (formerly, West Indies Mission) in St. Vincent and St. Lucia; affiliated with the Evangelical Church of the West Indies.


     1953       -    Christian Church and Churches of Christ in Barbados; in US Virgin Islands in 1986.


     1960       -    Bible Missionary Church in Barbados and St. Vincent.


     1963       -    Baptist International Missions in US Virgin Islands; in Barbados in 1979.


     1972       -    Southern Baptist Convention:  Barbados in 1972, Dominica and Grenada in 1975, and St. Vincent in 1977.


     1973       -    Berean Mission, Inc. on Dominica; 1989 in Grenada.


     1975       -    National Baptist Convention, USA, in Barbados.


     1984       -    Wycliffe Bible Translators in St. Lucia.


     1986       -    Macedonian World Baptist Missions in Grenada; St. Lucia in 1994.


     1987       -    Maranatha Baptist Mission in Grenada.


     1991       -    Child Evangelism Fellowship in St. Vincent.


     1995       -    Mission to the World, Presbyterian Church of America; in the British Virgin Islands.



Date of Origin Unknown:


                        Ambassadors for Christ International


                        Apostolic Faith Mission


                        Assemblies of God


                        Baptist Missions to Forgotten


                        Brethren Assemblies (Plymouth Brethren)


                        Churches of Christ in Christian Union


                        Church of the Nazarene


                        Gospel Fellowship Association


                        Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada – The Pentecostal Church of the West Indies


                        Pentecostal churches in France have sent missionaries to several islands, including Martinique.


                        Pilgrim Holiness Church (now part of The Wesleyan Church) – Christian Pilgrim Church


                        The Salvation Army


                        United Holy Church of America


                        Youth With A Mission (YWAM)




(1)       Dates listed indicate the earliest recorded ministry or in case of discrepancies, the date most frequently indicated.


(2)       North American Agencies include U.S. and Canadian.


(1) Daryl L. Platt, "Who Represents the Evangelical Churches in Latin America? A Study of the Evangelical Fellowship Organizations." Pasadena, CA: an unpublished Doctor of Missiology Dissertation, School of World Mission, Fuller Theological Seminary, June 1991. Used by permission of the author.

(2) PROLADES (Latin American Socio-religious Studies Program), international headquarters in San José, Costa Rica: www.prolades.com, prolades@racsa.co.cr

            (3) John A. Siewert and Edna G. Valdez, editors: Mission Handbook of U.S. and Canadian Christian Ministries Overseas (MARC 1997).

(4) Jean-Jacques Bauswein and Lukas Vischer, The Reformed Family Worldwide (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1999).

(5) Clifton L. Holland, editor, World Christianity:  Central America and the Caribbean (MARC-World Vision International, 1981)

(6) J. Gordon Melton and Martin Baumann, editors, Religions of the World (ABC-Clio Publishers, 2002)