Preserving the historic Nathaniel Gilbert property where Methodism in the Caribbean first began.
Describe the need affecting community
Preserving historical, cultural aspects of a nation, and its people is important for generations to come. Being the birth of Methodism and the plans projected for this project has brought much enthusiasm from the communities and their willingness to participate. Much of the plantation/slavery history has been lost in Antigua and Barbuda, however the Nathaniel Gilbert story has been quite well preserved and can be brought to life in this project adding more information about slavery and slave life. It is also a project that should be of great interest for all Methodist throughout the world.
How will this Advance project help to address the need?
The final plans will create a retreat and conference center, a multipurpose assembly hall, which could seat 1,000, and therefore be useful for indoor activities such as dramatic presentations and concerts. Every attempt will be made to recapture the eighteenth century atmosphere, perhaps through an archival/documentation center, but certainly through the portrayal of domestic arrangements within the Gilbert household.
Describe the primary goal of the project
To preserve for posterity the historic birthplace of Caribbean Methodism. Long term impact: Preserving Methodist history and culture, utilizing methodist lands that have been idle for many years. Increasing economic value of the site, providing additional jobs for local citizens, bringing added foreign exchange into the country.
Describe the change you would like to see in the community as a result of this Advance project
Regular use of the facilities for retreats, camps and conferences, visitor stays increased, tours. Entrepreneurial opportunities for the surrounding communities. Appreciation of the environment and the historic and cultural relevance of the area.