Click below to see our current church plants...
We moved to Haiti to help start churches. Through the seminary, we trained pastors, then we work with the pastors to start churches. We, with the cooperation of these pastors, have started churches in Lina, Walondry, Savanne Bourg, Garde Biassou, and La Paire. The church in Souffrance was started by three of the pastors we trained, but without our direct intervention (In other words, they worked hard and planted the church themselves - we helped buy some land later on). We are in the process of planting two more churches in Carrefour Seize and Carre Douche with two of our seminary graduates. They have begun evangelism in those areas, but have not started meeting with the new converts.
Planting a church requires the groundwork of evangelism, or simply put, we go door to door in the community where we live and present the good news of the Bible. We go into people's homes, open the Bible and read the Bible with them. We meet regularly with those who are interested in making a decision to give their lives to Jesus. There are several areas nearby that have no evangelical church. We target these areas and send the seminary students to do evangelism there. When we get a small group of people that have made decisions to accept Christ and want to start meeting regularly, we help to organize regular meetings on Sunday with them. Transportation plays an important role in the work of evangelism and starting services in a distant community. We spend a considerable part of our support on motorcycle purchases, gasoline, or bus fare to and from these areas.
Stage two requires the training of a pastor to continue to teach the people. Because it takes a long time to train a pastor (4 years of university level schooling), pastoral training must be planned for in advance and even prior to evangelism. In fact, our first activity was to open the seminary and start training pastors, knowing we would need these men as soon as we could train them.
Our third step is to purchase land in the area where we have already been meeting. We immediately begin preparing for construction, as the building of a church is a big endeavor.
As soon as the construction is completed, the new church starts meeting regularly, and we offer the community the full set of services expected of a church. Most all of our churches meet every morning before 5AM for morning prayer services. We hold Sunday school, Sunday AM and Sunday PM services. During the week we have meetings in the evenings: we meet at members houses on Monday or Tuesday night, we have Wednesday PM prayer service, and Thursday or Friday Bible Study. Because the construction of the church ushers in a full time set of activities, the pastors job and obligations changes immediately. The pastor must set aside other work he has to take on the new responsibilities. In doing so he has an immediate need for financial support. These newly trained pastors need support to live and provide for their families as they do the work of the ministry.
We personally support several of our seminary men who are pastoring at this present time. But the question remains, does the support of a national pastor negate the indigenous church planting principle? In a nutshell - No ! Typically, in the States and Canada, a church plant will take 5 to 10 years to become self supporting. During this time it is normal for a pastor to seek and raise support to plant a church. In an economically depressed area it takes even longer for the newly planted church to become self supporting. Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the whole world, and as such we should expect the process of becoming self supporting to take an even longer period of time. We are working towards making our church plants self supporting, but this goal may take a long time to achieve. And so, in the mean time, we continue to plant and start churches through the aid of our national pastors who are sacrificing of themselves to practice the calling of God in their lives. Following is a list of communities where we have planted a church, helped to plant a church, or are in the process of planting a church - personally or through the seminary men we have trained.
Bowers c/o Open Door Baptist Mission
1115 Pelham Rd.
Greenville, SC 29615