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7219: Haitian-American Baptist Churches (fwd)
From: Daniel Schweissing <email@example.com>
Missionaries Pursue New Life 2010 Goals
by Eric Stanford
American Baptists In Mission/Nov-Dec 2000
As the much-anticpated first year of the new millennium draws to a close,
the emphasis called NEW LIFE 2010 completes its second year. And though
there is a decade yet to go in this emphasis, American Baptists have
enthusiastically embraced the vision and are on the way toward achieving its
--to start 1,010 new churches - The Great Commission: “Go...and make
disciples...” (Matt. 28:18-20)
--to welcome 1,000,010 new Christians – The Great Commandment: “You shall
love your God...and your neighbor...” (Matt. 22:37-40)
--to reach out in a multitude of caring ministries – The Great Criteria:
“...Just as you did it to one of the least of these...” (Matt. 25:31-46)
--and so transform American Baptist congregations by the year 2010.
The NEW LIFE goals are ambitious, and it will take the cooperation of all
American Baptists to attain them. National Ministries is catalyzing the
process by appointing individuals to serve in the special capacity of New
Life missionaries. These are gifted persons who are dedicated to changing
the world for Jesus Christ.
Four NEW LIFE missionaries have been appointed thus far. Here are their
Organizing for Effectiveness in Haitian-American Baptist Churches
Sometimes the good you do for others comes back to bless you. In a way
that’s the case for American Baptist Churches USA with regard to the Rev.
Julio B. LaPorte.
Growing up in Cap Haitien, a seaport of the island nation of Haiti, LaPorte
met the Lord and was baptized in a church started by American Baptist
missionaries. After serving as a pastor for 12 years in Haiti and the
Bahamas he moved to the United States in 1973. LaPorte now pastors the
Bethel Haitian Baptist Church in East Orange, N. J. Following his
appointment as a NEW LIFE missionary, LaPorte has divided his time between
the congregation and his responsibilities as National Ministries’ national
coordinator for Haitian Ministries.
Like LaPorte thousands of Haitians have immigrated to the United States in
recent decades. Many are Christians who want to worship together using their
native Creole language. To strengthen such congregations, the denomination
in 1983 formed an alliance of Haitian-American Baptist churches. At first
there were only seven churches in the alliance. Today there are 42 allied
Haitian congregations in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut,
Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Florida.
As alliance coordinator LaPorte speaks at churches; organizes seminars,
workshops, and training events; helps plan for pastoral retreats, youth
retreats, and the annual alliance convention; communicates with committee
chairs and state coordinators; and helps plan for new churches in areas
where Haitians have settled. LaPorte says the alliance has identified two
locations in New Jersey and several in Florida where churches may be
In addition, LaPorte negotiates with existing Haitian congregations about
membership in the American Baptist Churches USA and the Haitian alliance.
Recently, for example, he spoke with the pastors of seven Haitian
congregations in Florida who are interested in becoming American Baptist.
LaPorte likes to maintain his ties with Haiti. “I’m especially interested in
contacting pastors trained in Haiti at the Baptist seminary, who come to
America,” he says. “We want to attract all those graduates to the alliance
so that we can repay American Baptist churches for all that they did for
[The remaining three missionaries' stories (non-Haitian) can be viewed at
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