Turks and Caicos Islands
Turks and Caicos Islands
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The Turks and Caicos Islands are two small island groups in the Caribbean, south east of The Bahamas and north of Haiti. The total land mass of the islands is 430 sq km. The islands have an interesting history as a British overseas territory; the islands were a part of the UK’s Jamaican colony until 1962 when Jamaica gained independence. After that time the governor of The Bahamas oversaw the affairs of the islands from 1965 until 1973. When The Bahamas gained independence in 1973 the islands received a separate governor. Independence for the Turks and Caicos Islands was slated for 1982 but that policy was later reversed and they are presently a British overseas territory with a governor and chief minister. The population of the islands is just under 20,000 people who are supported largely through an economy based on tourism (93,000 annually), fishing and offshore banking.
Baptist groups make up 40% of the population, Methodists 16%, Anglican 18%, Church of God 12% and all others 14%.
In 1985 an a cappella Church of Christ began on the island of North Caicos as a result of radio contact from “Bible Truth and You,” a broadcast by Paul Rogers and sponsored by the church in Centerville, Tennessee. A subsequent Bible study and visit to the island led to the conversion of two men, one a preacher, another, a policeman. Joseph Wordle and family, missionaries with a boat mission, went to the islands in 1988 working until 1991 with oversight of the Beltline church of Decatur, Alabama. Wordle worked following up with World Bible School students. At least four others have also served in the islands. A congregation presently meets in Kew and they have their own building. In 1990 the congregation numbered about 20.
Clinton J. Holloway
National Profiles Editor
Revised by Gary Holloway, January 13, 2014