Juliana Pena has grabbed headlines as the "seerwoman" for Prime Minister Patrick Manning.
But for a small group of worshippers at the Jesus the Light of This World Ministries on Cemetery Street, Heights of Guanapo, Arima, she was once a founding member of their church and a member of their congregation. The Light of This World Ministries is located a stone's throw from the site of the construction of the now contentious church, named Lighthouse Ministries of Christ. They view Pena as a "born again Christian" and not a "seerwoman". Around 2007, a rift broke out and Pena left taking some members of the congregation. In 2004, Pena pioneered worship services there. Pausing from their midday service yesterday, evangelist Shirlain Fermin said: "Over here is Jesus The Light of this World Ministries and over there is Lighthouse Ministries of Christ.
"Reverend Pena took some of the members of the church and left. Their church is going up over there. She adios out of town. We remained here." Fermin said there were plans in the mix to build the church. "Reverend Pena had all the designs and plans for the buildings. The plans were made out. The contractors knew about it since 2006. It was already going to be done. But it is now taking place," added Fermin. She also said she had recently returned from Boston, USA. Quizzed on whether she knew PM Manning or he was known to Pena, Fermin admitted she never really interacted with him like Pena. However, she said: "The Lord has him with us. Not in the services but in the spiritual realm.
"I was in the same building with him but I didn't interact with him. He has been with us at services in Chaguanas and Calvary Revival Centre," added Fermin. Questioned about whether they had seen PM Manning on the site, Fermin said: "Long ago he visited. Since it has been in the news he has not visited." Fermin said Pena was mixed, African and East Indian descent, with curly hair, about five feet, four inches tall and of a thick-slim built. Before the rift, she said, Pena laid the cornerstone for the church. Back then, they knew she rented in Arima but they were not sure where she now lived.
A sense of pride registered when she described Fermin as a "travelling international missionary". She said: "She is now like a travelling international missionary. Wherever the Lord leads, she goes there. "She has been to Africa, Phillipines, meeting with presidents and doing the Lord's work. She goes to different places. She has no home." Fermin said the Lord was now raising up a new work. Their church services are on the second floor of the building, she said.