Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Divine Shops of Montrose Main Road

 I have never been exactly sure where Montrose begins and ends, but I am pretty sure that ‘Montrose Main Road’ stretches from Montrose gas station from its East end to the ‘Chaguanas Flyover’ at its West end. It takes about 10 minutes to drive from end to end. Growing up in Chaguanas, I always viewed Montrose main road as being the most unremarkable part of what was already an unremarkable town. There was never really anything to see or do along Montrose Main road. Things are changing now though.

A wave of economic growth has hit Montrose over the last few years.Fast food chains like KFC, Subway, Mario’s, Burger King, and Popeye’s all have an outlet each here. I hear Domino’s Pizza is opening soon. New grocery shops, hardware stores, bars, casinos, shopping plazas, and cafes have all sprung up. Business seems to be booming in Montrose, and one industry in particular seems to be cashing in.  

On this tiny strip, there are no less than 5 'evangelical churches’. And that's just on the main road. There are more in the side streets.  They have grand and dramatic names, like 'Miracle Area', or 'Deliverance Temple', creating a strange blend with the more mundane sounding stores around them. People, who walk by, don't appear to see that strangeness, or if they do, they don't seem to mind it. Yesterday, while going to get lunch, I took some pictures of the ‘small churches’ on Montrose main road.

(personally I don't have much faith in  Usha's roti -)

 back in the day this used to be a Don Jacob Purple Dragon Institute where
  kids learned  how to "deliver a kick ass" with Karate 

   I think this is a poor name-like your gonna be forced to feel guilty about 
   everything you ever did  as soon as you step  into  the door-if i wanted that
  I would go the catholic church down the road. 

 small church names always allude to the promise of  getting something- 
this one makes a subtle hint that it  may help you out with money 

Simplest  market economics at work: Supply and Demand 
 There has never been a more profitable time to learn the bible 

In an attempt at a unique brand positioning -this church calls itself 
 the 'Sheba life worship center'...."does your church offer  Sheba "? 

The popularity and growth of 'small churches' isn't confined to Montrose. There are many more along the old Southern main road heading up to Couva. In  neighbouring Chase Village there are bigger and grander  churches with famous pastors with  TV shows.

Why are 'small churches' becoming so popular? What is driving this upsurge in evangelicalism? What exactly are they selling? What is it that people think they are buying? 

 Part of me thinks I should attend a service of one and see what the appeal is. But I am not sure if I have the stomach for that. In any case I think that the real answer lies not in the churches but in the neighborhoods of Chaguanas itself. And it’s there I think I'll go have a look and see-Then blog about it. 

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