Last Updated: 06 December 2022

Colonel Abram Davey

In  1887, the prayers and requests for support  were answered when Booth sent out his pioneer Caribbean party ¬ a young family of eight from Manchester, the Daveys. They arrived to "make war on sin and evil in the West Indies," (Hobbs, 1986, p. 1-5).

Mother Foster and Raglan Phillips met their ship and crowds followed them as they made their way along the streets to their new home at 9 Duke Street where a thanksgiving prayer meeting was held. Colonel Davey soon sought permission for the use of a public space from the mayor of Kingston. The mayor, unlike the island's press, was not accommodating and Davey was turned down. The owner of the popular Myrtle Bank hotel, a Mr. Gall, came to the rescue however, offering his lawn for the Salvation Army's opening service on a Sunday, December 18, 1887 at 5 p.m. He described the event in his own publication, Gall's Newsletter as follows: "If Col. Davey preaches doctrine of this kind, we believe there is no planter in the whole island who would not make the Salvation Army welcome on his estate." The Gleaner also described the event in glowing terms: "There is a cleansing fountain ... a very large concourse of people estimated at between four and five thousand ..." and expressed surprise at the lack of rowdiness. Another paper, the Evening Post, however, described the event much less favourably noting that nothing new took place: "it was the same old story of the Cross of Christ crucified ..." (Hobbs, 1986, pp. 7-8).

Before the end of December Gall's Newsletter was advertising nightly open-air sessions complete with organ music and drums. Thousands showed up and soon appeared in Jamaica as well for distribution. Salvation Army standards and procedures were duly explained and in less than 4 months, in March 1888, reinforcements had arrived from England. The first Salvation Army Temple on Church St. was ready to be opened. 2000 persons from communities as diverse as Fletcher's Land, Matthew's Lane and St. Andrew packed in to take part. A few months later in May a Salvation Army Corps opened in Spanish Town and in July, the word continued to spread with a launch in Montego Bay. In Bluefields, Westmoreland, Raglan Phillip's people continued the movement reaching out to Black River and Savanna-la-Mar without him as he had relocated to Kingston to assist Colonel Davey and his wife (Hobbs, 1986, pp. 10-12).

Source: The Jamaica Gleaner ‘Pieces of the Past’

Dr. Rebecca Tortello


Commissioners Devon and Verona Haughton

Commissioners Devon & Verona Haughton serve as the leaders of The Salvation Army Caribbean Territory, with the titles of Territorial Commander and Territorial President of Women's Ministries respectively.

They have been part of The Salvation Army for almost all their lives - the last thirty-seven and forty-two years respectively they have served as officers (Ministers).

Born in Portland, Jamaica, Commissioner Devon Haughton is a graduate of Portland High School and entered The Salvation Army Training College in 1979 as a member of the “God’s Soldiers” session. A delegate of the 145th Session of the International College for Officers (ICO) he also participated in training courses for Training Principals in Santiago and London. Lt. Colonel Devon completed studies in Management with William & Catherine Booth Theological College and is now pursuing a Master of Arts Degree in Global Urban Leadership at BAKKE Graduate University in the USA. His active preaching and teaching ministry has been evident in several of the islands of the Caribbean.

Commissioner Verona Haughton (nee Henry) was born in St. Catherine but all her formative years were spent in Buff Bay, Portland. She entered The Salvation Army Training College in 1974 as a member of the “Overcomers” session and was a delegate at the Administrative Leadership Training Course in Australia and Training Principal’s conference in London.  Lt. Colonel Verona holds a Master of Arts Degree in Pastoral Psychology & Counselling and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Guidance and Counselling.  She also has certificates in Supervisory Management and Public Speaking from Training and Development Services, a branch of Human Resource Development. She has passionately devoted time to the training and development of officers and steered the territorial training college to be recognized as an educational institution under the Independent Schools of Jamaica. 

The Commissioners served in Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica in various appointments including corps officers (pastors), divisional leaders for Eastern & Western Jamaica Divisions and training principals, at different periods, for the territory’s training college.  Similarly, Lt. Colonel Devon has served as Secretary (Director) for Programme and Territorial Evangelist while Lt. Colonel Verona has served as Secretary (Director) for Leader Development and Secretary (Director) for Spiritual Life Development

Above everything else, the Haughtons love the Lord, His people and His work and are completely committed to the mission of “saving souls, growing saints and serving suffering humanity”.

They have been married for 36 years and are proud parents of an adult daughter, Tephanie Olivia, who brings them great joy.

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