Her Life

Mavis Celestine Reid Hyatt

Mavis Celestine Reid, the first of four daughters, and the third in a family of seven siblings, born to the late Benjamin Uriah and Agnes Williams Reid, in Fullersfield, near Paul Island, Westmoreland, on August 10, 1921.

Upon graduation from the Savannah-la-mar primary school, Mavis enrolled at Mannings High School. Fresh out of High School, Mavis went to work with the Jamaica Postal Service, stationed at Little London Westmoreland.

Sometime in late 1951 or early 1952, an evangelistic campaign was launched across the Road from the Post Office, with Pastor Owen Holness, and intern Pastor Edwin Hyatt conducting nightly meetings under a tent. Mavis who was a Presbyterian at the time, took her minister’s request seriously, and with another church member, went door to door in the community, warning the residents not to attend the meetings under the tent, as they were a cult, not preaching the truth.

Night after night, Mavis listened to the sermons, as the loudspeaker made it impossible for her not to hear from her residence across the street. At the same time, she vigilantly carried out her minister’s request, and told everyone who came visited the Post Office, not to attend the meetings. 

Around the same time, Mavis' church was teaching about the "New Covenant" and it was her belief that only her church had the true understanding of this subject.  Determined to prove a point ,she questioned the young intern one day when he came for his mail, by asking him what the new covenant was.  She was certain he would not be able to provide an answer and this was confirmed when he told her it would take some time to explain, and that he would get back to her.

Later that day, the senior Pastor stopped by to schedule a  meeting to explain this concept to her.  Since they were not allowed to do so at the Post office the Pastor arranged for Mavis to visit the home of the parish nurse, Noelin Vacianna, after work and on Sundays, after her church services. Mavis took a colleague from the Post Office and went to Nurse Vacianna's home to learn what these strange people had to say about the New Covenant.

After several weeks of watching slide presentation and confirming the scripture passages in her own Bible, without realizing it at the time, she had completed an entire series of Bible Studies.  She was amazed that all the questions she could pose on many subjects were answered directly from the Bible, and that the answers were quite different from the ones provided by her church. 

Mavis was convicted that there was no scriptural basis for several of her church's beliefs, including the Sabbath. By the end of the tent meetings, Mavis was baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and about a year later, married the intern, Edwin Hyatt, on December 2, 1953, moving to Lucea, Hanover, where her husband was now a pastoring.  The union produced four children.  

 In 1959, Mavis and Edwin relocated to Mandeville to attend West Indies College, allowing Edwin to complete his Theology degree, while she enrolled in the Accounting Program, later taking a Sabbatical to raise her family.

In 1961, Mavis relocated to Clermont, St. Ann, where her husband, Edwin, pastored several churches. In 1962, when Central Jamaica Conference of SDA was organized, the  family moved to Spanish Town, and she worked at the conference office in a number of capacities - first as a secretary, then as the Accountant for the Book and Bible House as it was called then, and lastly, as the Cashier/ Accountant in the Conference’s Treasury department from 1963, until migrating to the US, in October 1981.

Upon relocation to Des Moines, Iowa, USA, Mavis continued her studies in Accounting earning a Certificate from Wichita Technical School, which provided her with updated skills to continue working in the accounting offices of Price Waterhouse, Sears Department Store, and Arthur Anderson.

In 1997, the couple retired to Miramar, Florida, joining their two younger children, Edwin, Jr. and Charmaine, and their families, and were doting grandparents to their two youngest grandchildren, Ramon and Edwin, III.  They enjoyed several years of sunshine, re-acquaintances with old and fellowship with new ones before her husband’s suffered a stroke in 2003. Unable to keep up with the demanding care of his illness in Florida, the couple were relocated to Silver Spring, Maryland in August 2005, under the care of their children: Beverley and Edwin Jr.,  and their families.

Following the loss of her husband in December 2008, and tired of the cold weather in Maryland, Mavis moved to Garden Grove, California in January 2010, to live with daughter, Marlene and her family. In March 2015, Mavis, at the ripe old age of 93, moved to Dallas, TX, to live with her youngest daughter, Charmaine Rose and her husband, Joseph, moving with them to Richmond, VA in 2018.

She passed peacefully on Wednesday, March 20, 2019, leaving to mourn her four children, Beverley (Neville Allen), Marlene (Derick Evans), Edwin, Jr. (Myrna), and Charmaine Rose (Joseph), Grandchildren: Serena Evans Witter (Dwight), Brandon Evans (Zinga), Sheldon Evans, Ramon Robertson (Haley), Edwin Hyatt, III, and Great Grandchildren: Sianna and Aiden Witter; Abigail, Alana, Avarie, and Aria Evans; Rachel Robertson; nieces and nephews: Marie Brooks, Viviene Raymond, Alda Yvonne Harris, Lorris Holbert, Richard Brooks, Michael Hicks, and their families; sisters-in law: Nellie Newman, Janet Fletcher (Astley), Florence Stephens,  Marjorie Kelly (Albert) and their families; brother-in-law:  John Stevens, several cousins including the Scott and Smith families, other relatives, friends, and wellwishers.

Beyond the Sunset

Beyond the sunset, O blissful morning When with our Saviour heaven's begun Earth's toiling ended, O glorious dawning Beyond the sunset when day is done.

Beyond the sunset, no clouds will gather No storms will threaten, no fears annoy O day of gladness, O day unending Beyond the sunset eternal joy. Beyond the sunset, a hand will guide me To God the Father whom I adore His glorious presence, His words of welcome Will be my portion on that fair shore. Beyond the sunset, O glad reunion With our dear loved ones who've gone before In that fair homeland we'll know no parting Beyond the sunset forever more...