A large group prepares for licensing to the ministry in Haiti


Church of the Brethren Newsline
June 14, 2012

Elgise des Freres de Laferriere - a Church of the Brethren congregation in Haiti
Laferriere is just one of the Brethren congregations that are part of Eglise des Freres Haitiens (the Church of the Brethren in Haiti). In May, a group of 19 Haitian Brethren leaders were interviewed for licensing to the ministry, and will be working toward ordination. Photo by Wendy McFadden

In late May, Church of the Brethren leaders from the US and Haiti interviewed a large group of people preparing for licensing to the ministry, to serve in Eglise des Freres Haitiens (the Church of the Brethren in Haiti).

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Nineteen men and women were interviewed by Jay Wittmeyer, executive director of Global Mission and Service for the Church of the Brethren; Mary Jo Flory-Steury, executive director of Ministry and the denomination’s associate general secretary; Ludovic St. Fleur, coordinator of the Haiti mission and pastor of Eglise des Freres Haitiens in Miami, Fla.; and members of the National Committee of the Haitian Church of the Brethren including pastors Ives Jean, Jean Bily Telfort, and Freny Elie.

The interviews took place in Croix des Bouquets, a neighborhood of the capital city Port-au-Prince, at the Ministry Center of the Haitian Church of the Brethren. Ilexene Alphonse, who helps staff the Ministry Center, served as translator.

Interview questions related to the candidates’ family and background, education, spiritual journey, role in the local church, and understanding of Brethren beliefs and practices, reported Wittmeyer. Each of the 19 individuals interviewed identifies with a specific member of the National Committee as a mentor and spiritual leader and came with a recommendation for licensing from that member of the National Committee.

“Each was deemed to be uniquely prepared to receive the set apart status that licensing denotes and to be empowered to serve the denomination in this capacity,” Wittmeyer said. “Each individual has demonstrated a strong commitment to the local church and to the denomination. They have been very active in local churches and serving as the backbone of the denomination.”

Those interviewed are already active in leading worship, starting preaching points, ministry with children, outreach activities, and other ministries in their communities. The group is now expected to examine their calling and work toward ordination. Some are already qualified for ordination according to national requirements, and one of the candidates is ordained in a different denomination.

In 2009, a similar process occurred, when 10 people were interviewed for licensing in Haiti. Of that group, seven have served the Haitian church on its National Committee since then.

The 19 people interviewed in May include 4 women and 15 men, and come from congregations located in various areas of Haiti including Bohoc, Cap Haitian, Gonaíves, Grand Bois, Leogâne, Mont Boulage, as well as the Croix des Bouquets and Delmas neighborhoods in the Port-au-Prince area, and other smaller towns and villages.

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