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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Interview with First Lutheran Pastor in Haiti

Rev. Dorise Jean Louis Speaks with Rev. Matthew Harrison

In the interview above, Rev. Dorise Jean Louis tells the story of how he became the first Lutheran pastor in Haiti. He is from the central plateau in Haiti. After finishing school in Haiti, he went to a seminary in Jamaica. In his second year of seminary, Pastor Louis had a class called comparative religion. One day in this class, the professor asked "student" Louis a question about predestination. Instead of a "baptist" answer, Louis gave a "Lutheran" answer. Pastor Louis' confession about predestination illustrates why Luther's Bondage of the Will is such an important book -- the freedom of God is essential to preserving the Gospel; God's freedom to save poor, miserable, undeserving sinners, is the freedom of grace; it is the freedom of the Gospel and key to justification by grace through faith. 

After Pastor Louis gave his answer, he was asked, "How can a baptist give a Lutheran answer to the question about predestination?" Then Pastor Louis said, "What is Lutheran?" He had never heard what a Lutheran was. He was told that he would not remain a Baptist but become a Lutheran. 

In 1977, after finishing seminary in Jamaica, he visited a Haitian friend in Kentucky when contact was made with the late, Dr. Robert Preus. In his meeting with Dr. Preus, Pastor Louis expressed a desire to learn more about Lutheranism and to start a Lutheran Church in Haiti. Contact was made with the LCMS Mission Board. One thing led to another and a Lutheran church in Haiti was started.

Although Pastor Louis' church is not a sister church to the LCMS, the Haitian pastors, including Marky Kessa have great respect for Pastor Louis and say that they are Lutheran because of him. He was the pioneer who brought Lutheranism to Haiti.

The cross was damaged at First Lutheran Church in Port-au-Prince by the earthquake.

The Sanctuary of First Lutheran Church in Port-au-Prince

LCMS World Relief Human Care team with with Rev. Dorise Jean Louis at First Lutheran in Port-au-Prince

Quite literally, the First Lutheran Church in Port-au-Prince, or Haiti for that matter.

Ebenezer Lutheran Church, served by Rev. Dorise Jean Louis. Note the Luther Rose Window

Ebenezer Lutheran Church, Port-au-Prince Haiti

Welcome to Ebenezer Evangelical Lutheran Church

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