First Rastafarian Church opens in Miami Gardens

by Paul Perry

First Rastafarian Church

Saturday June 16th saw the opening of The First Rastafarian Church and Cultural Center of Florida (FRCC) in the City of Miami Gardens.

Located at 16280 NW 27th Ave, the formal ribbon cutting was undertaken by Priest Douggie, Head of Cultural Activities for the church, and Mayor of Miami Gardens Oliver Gilbert.

Unity of purpose

According to Priest Douggie, the church and community center adds “a new vibrant, creative cultural community narrative to the South Florida landscape….The essence of Community is common unity. It takes a village to raise a child. With this in mind, the administration of the FRCCC has endeavored to recreate the village atmosphere in which unity of purpose empowers us to challenge the problems that hamper our community’s positive growth.”

At the opening presentations were made by different representatives of the African and Rastafari diaspora.

Multi-functional

The church and community center will be multi-functional, wherein the community can utilize it for religious and cultural purpose. However, its primary use will be to provide spiritual support for the Rastafari community in Florida and to connect to the wider Rastafari community.

The FRCCC will showcase different aspects of the Rastafarian heritage and culture based on the wealthy and diverse Rastafarian lifestyle and history.

Coincides with birthdate of founder of Rastafarian movement

Opening the FRCCC on June 16 was significant as the date represents the birthday of the founder of the Rastafarian movement, Jamaican Leonard P. Howell, who joined Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) in New York and first publicly articulated Rastafarianism in Kingston in 1933. Howell created the first Rastafarian village (Pinnacle) in 1940.

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