Not satisfied with serving solely in the Seventh-day Adventist Church through preaching, teaching, and counseling in his home country of Jamaica, Kemar Douglas recently earned a medical degree.
After four years of study, Douglas is now a medical intern at May Pen Hospital, having graduated from the Caribbean School of Medical Sciences in Kingston, Jamaica on October 30, 2022, with honors, and also as a as a recipient of the Chancellor’s Award. for academics and leadership.
Douglas, 43, earned his medical degree while pastoring a five-church district with 2,100 members.
“Balancing hasn’t been easy,” Douglas said. “I had promised my life to God and to the ministry of the gospel, and to take care of my family, and I had to make sure that no one suffered, even though I couldn’t do everything.” It was about relying on God, his wife and church elders to help the ministry, he added.
Respected and loved
Joyce Tennant Stewart, former leader of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Linstead, praised Douglas’s work. “He is a hardworking, mission-oriented pastor, and extremely dedicated to equipping members and others to properly share God’s Word,” Stewart said. “He is highly respected, loved, humble, kind and appreciated, and never hesitates to give service to the church and the community.”
After graduating from Calabar High School in Kingston, Douglas went on to study theology at Northern Caribbean University (NCU) in Mandeville, where he received a bachelor’s degree in religion and theology in 2001 and then a master of arts in religion. in 2011. Additionally, he earned a doctorate in leadership ministry from the Inter-American Adventist Theological Seminary in 2017.
Desire to become a doctor
The desire to be a doctor was always on his mind, but he also felt a call to pastoral ministry, Douglas said. But what ultimately led him to pursue medicine was a deep conviction from the Lord that it was time.
“Upon graduating as a Doctor of Ministry, I felt I had done all that the Lord required of me academically to serve in His cause and His church,” Douglas said. “But while greeting people after the ceremony, one of my fellow ministerial graduates who knew about my passion for health and well-being said now was the time to pursue medicine.” Others also encouraged him to pursue medical studies.
Douglas describes his journey as one of God opening doors and making a way when there seemed to be no way.
Getting to this point has not been easy for Douglas. It was a stressful journey, he admitted, living and working with a family of three boys aged 10, 11 and 15 and having to take care of school matters. He also highlighted the many times he stood up for his faith during the pursuit of this career. “Often, because of my biblical beliefs, the issues of the Sabbath, creationism, and health reform led to tense times, as I would never compromise my faith for school-related activities. “
The study of medicine led Douglas to more fully appreciate the health message presented by Ellen G. White, co-founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. “The studies also helped me feel fulfilled and deepened my trust in God,” Douglas said. “This season has seen God work miracle after miracle for me and open doors I never thought existed.”
Health and wellness is a felt need for everyone, Douglas said. “God has prepared me to serve his church and community in a way that blends mind, body, and spirit in a holistic way that brings glory to him.”
Being able to respond to people’s needs, offer understanding of their physical illness, and then provide spiritual guidance as well as health reform instruction is a tremendous blessing and joy to him, Douglas explained.
Douglas said he had dedicated his life to the ministry of the gospel, but would also use his training to benefit the church and the community.
“I have no intention of quitting being a pastor,” he said. “I enjoy teaching and leading God’s people. However, I am now in my first year of training after medical school, as an intern at May Pen Hospital in Clarendon, and am looking forward to getting my license so I can see patients and to help them achieve and maintain optimal health.
An Adventist Prodigy
Concerns about managing family, pastoral work and studies were on the minds of church leaders in the Jamaica Central Conference, where Douglas also serves as director of health ministries. “He is now an Adventist prodigy, and he has proven it to us by doing exceptionally well in all the challenges of church work, while maintaining his GPA and graduating with honors,” the president said. Jamaica Central Conference, Nevail Barrett. “We applaud and congratulate him and are extremely proud of him and his accomplishments.”
Douglas is the senior pastor of Portmore Seventh-day Adventist Church in St. Catherine, the largest Seventh-day Adventist church in Jamaica. Previously, he served as director of the conference’s communications and public affairs and religious liberty departments. Douglas served in the Seventh-day Adventist Church for more than 21 years.
He also finds time to provide community service as a justice of the peace for St. Catherine Parish and a volunteer chaplain for the Jamaica Police Force in St. Catherine.
“If you feel the call of God to follow a particular course, and it is consistent with the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy, go there by the grace of God,” Douglas said. “Trust in God and His timing. I thank God for his blessing in my life. I owe him everything.
The original version of this story was published on the Inter-American Division news sites.
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