Jamaika: Marjorie Prentice Saunders

The divine will grant women the precursory role in the fight for the peace.

— Marjorie Prentice Saunders

When she was a child, she chose a great road: God. Under his guidance, she carried out marriages, funerals, baptisms, qualifying courses for women, and workshops for educating immigrants. Marjorie Prentice Saunders was the first Jamaican woman to be a Minister of the Presbyterian Church. Revolutionary in her perspective, she was never afraid of breaking traditions. She gave a lifetime of service to education and social work through community mobilization.

Marjorie Prentice Saunders was born in 1913 in Galina, St. Mary, Jamaica. One hour after her birth, her parents took her by horse on a three-mile-long trip to attend the opening of the Synod of the Presbyterian Church. Since then, she has been near the Lord Jesus Christ. She was a privileged girl, she grew up surrounded by the love of seven siblings, and her family had the opportunity to guide the education of every one of them. She was always on the platform, next to her father. By his hand, she understood that education was like magic: it needed to be shared. She was a pioneer in the creation of preparatory schools for boys and girls. She helped to understand the importance of early childhood education. Under her leadership, the community programs grew until including regional and international collaboration. She was commissioned by the United Church in Jamaica and Cayman Islands to carry out the Christian and social work among 4000 immigrants that lived in Sheffield, England. She helped to break the cultural barriers through study groups and she wrote the manual on ‘Living in Britain.’ She has been that, an indefatigable Minister of the Church. She registered the rights of women in the church and in society.

United Church