Haitian Ministries International
WHAT WE DO
Haitian Ministries International works to encourage and strengthen Haitian pastors in Boston and to facilitate churches working together to serve the Haitians in this area, in Haiti, and across the Haitian diaspora. In 1985, Pastor Soliny Védrine joined the staff of EGC to coordinate ministry among Haitian churches. One of his first activities was to invite Haitian pastors and their wives to a luncheon. From this simple meeting have grown fruitful partnerships which have strengthened the Haitian church community over the past 25 years.
Pastor Sol spends his time counseling and consulting with pastors and ministry leaders, assisting Haitians immigrating to Boston, and organizing programs that serve the Haitian community in Boston and across the Haitian diaspora.
In Boston, the Fellowship of Haitian Evangelical Pastors of New England, an organization Pastor Sol cofounded and led for many years, works to build relationships cross-denominationally among the region’s Haitian pastors and churches, now networking dozens of churches in New England.
After the January 2010 earthquake, teams from Boston’s Haitian churches have made many trips to Haiti to bring encouragement, including medical teams and relief workers.
CONFERENCES IN BOSTON AND ACROSS THE DIASPORA
Since 1993, the Fellowship of Haitian Evangelical Pastors of New England has sponsored a Boston Haitian Crusade which annually draws 2,000 Haitians from Greater Boston for a weekend of worship and teaching. A similar conference is held for Haitian youth.
Since 1995, Pastor Sol has used the successful model established in Boston to coordinate annual conferences for Haitian believers living across the Caribbean. In FY 2010, for example, crusades were held in The Bahamas and in the Dominican Republic, under the mentored leadership of younger pastors, and supported by teams of Haitian believers from Boston.
GLOBAL VISION CONFERENCES
In 1998, Pastor Sol spearheaded the first Vision Globale du Protestantisme dans le Milieu Haïtien, a forum for Christian leaders from the world’s Haitian communities to discuss and understand the progress of the Haitian church across the diaspora, and to pray for vision for the future.
WHY WE DO IT
Boston has the third largest Haitian community outside Haiti, behind Miami and New York City. There are about 200 Haitian churches in New England, with about 75 in Greater Boston, supporting 70,000 Haitians.
This population has been growing since the 2010 earthquake. The needs within the Haitian community have also grown as displaced Haitians have made their way to Greater Boston to live with family and friends, and have need for housing and other necessities as well as education and jobs. By June 2010, Haitian pastors from Boston reported seeing 10-30 refugees attending each of their churches, and one pastor in Dorchester said his church has about 75 newcomers. Haitian churches are providing the refugees with services such as food, clothing, housing, counseling, and spiritual care.