The history of Grenada, like that of most small islands, is interesting as one super-power after another saw the potential for growing tropical foods such as sugar and spices to supply their home country.
The first European sighting of the island was purported to be by Columbus, who named it Conception, but there is no evidence he landed there. Native Indians were already in occupancy, having driven out a previous tribe.
The name 'Grenada' is thought to have been given by Spanish sailors from the city of Grenada, at a later date.
The city of St George's was started by the French in 1705, but finished by the British in 1710. However, the island was still under French control until 1763, when it was ceded to the British after the conclusion of the seven-year war. This, of course, was at as similar time to the British occupancy of Australia, when European colonialism was very common throughout the world.
The story didn't end there, however, as it became French again during the American War of Independence, then British again after the Treaty of Versailles in 1783. Although the British were not particularly popular, they did retain control until independence in 1974.
That was plenty of time to introduce the game of Cricket.
In 1975, just after Independence, the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention assigned missionaries to Grenada. They put out a series of radio advertisements about starting a Church in St George's, and through this means they made contact with a prisoner on Death Row.
The beginnings of Stanford Simon's Church was a series of Bible Studies at the prison, and then in December 1975, services started at the St George's chapel. A missionary couple served as the first pastors until the first local pastor was installed in 1982.
Now, in the congregation, there are 150 official members; but the Sunday attendance is well over 350 people. They are both a radio and television ministry and they reach out to the community in a real way.
Stanford also serves as the President of the Grenada Baptist Association, which has six churches. There are only two provinces that are yet to establish Baptist ministry. The total official membership of the Grenada Baptist Association is 1200 persons and they have an emphasis on training, development and mission work.
He sees the future of Baptist ministry in Grenada as being very bright as they work closely with the Carribbean Baptist Association and the Baptist World Alliance. They have assisted at grass roots level with the Haiti earthquake disaster and sent missionaries to Africa.
But leadership training is the number one feature of the Grenada Baptist work, in that much encouragement and support is given to Baptist people to take their civic responsibility seriously and get involved in their country and politics, develop businesses and develop themselves.
This Stanford Simon video interview on the Australian Missionary News IPTV can be viewed at either tv.bushorchestra.com/BWC/videopages/stanford_simon.html or www.safeworlds.net