Marriage Officers in Jamaica
He didn't leave his name, but I am so appreciate of this question, as it gives me a opportunity to answer a question that I believe a lot of persons have. It's about marriage officers in Jamaica. Here is his comment/ question.
I am a Minister of Religion in Canada and there fore can solemnize a marriage as I am also considered a Marriage Officiant.
I am visiting Negril as we speak and was at a hotel having dinner.
A wedding party came in, one by one, including the husband to be.
They were having conversations that they have been waiting for the Pastor to arrive for over 4 hours!
Being the jovial person I am, I said that I am an Ordained Minister with the right documents and could solemnize the marriage for them.
The husband to be did not understand what solemnize meant and look at me with a disgusting look.
Anyway, I questioned further about the Pastor and was told that there are many Pastors in Jamaica and I agree.... But are they legally qualified to be a Pastor.
I seem to think that there is a lack of understanding here in Jamaica, because I believe to a Pastor here in Jamaica you just have to build a church and start to preach. (smile)
Please reply.RESPONSE: by Wellesley
Hi sir (or madam),
You are absolutely right!
I believe that, just like churches, we probably have more pastors here per square mile, than any other country in the world, but that's just my guess.
And yes, almost anyone can claim to be a pastor here; It is probably one of those professions that are not as tightly regulated as it probably should.
But that said, two quick points:
- A 'Pastor' by definition, must be qualified by earning a degree in theology or related discipline here. And there are several esteemed bible training organisations here.
Some are non-denominational while some are denomination specific. The Bethel Bible College of the Caribbean, for example, is a non-denominational, but has New Testament principles.
- A Marriage Officer, has to first be a qualified minister of religion and it is not guaranteed. It is an application process, managed by the Registrar General's Department.
See also: How To Request Vital Records In Jamaica.
We actually have an article already on how to become a marriage officer, (click here to read).
I recommend that if anyone has any questions about the authenticity of marriage officers, they should contact the RGD.
The RGD published a list of all qualified marriage officers in Jamaica (active and current) sometime ago, you can find that link here
The list includes each Marriage Officer's Full Name, Date of Gazette, Their Location (Parish), Their Place of Worship And Denomination, as well as phone contact, and email if available.
I hope this clarifies.
P.S. And if there is anyone desirous of finding a qualified wedding planner, who has access to the most reputable marriage officers, click here for my recommendation