Chapter 2

The Spiritual Baptist Faith:Introduction

I arrived in Trinidad on the 7th September 1986. Almost immediately I witnessed a Spiritual Baptist ceremony. It was a street mission (see Chapter 3 below) in downtown Port of Spain, the capital of Trinidad and Tobago. It was almost impossible not to come across the Spiritual Baptists wherever I travelled in Trinidad and Tobago. After eighteen months of fieldwork I cannot recall any time when I did not encounter at least traces of them or their ceremonies. Their presence was pervasive; nearly everyone I spoke to was either baptised into the faith or had something to say about them, be it hostile or sympathetic. And it was not a hidden presence; the Spiritual Baptists were quite open about their ...

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