Church of God National Bishop Killed in Haitian Earthquake

From here:

Church of God Haitian overseer Elysee Joseph and three from a Canadian delegation have died as a result of the devastating earthquake which took place in Haiti on January 12…

Dr. Joseph was a leading pastor and had served the church as national overseer on two occasions. He is survived by his wife and children.

Other groups associated with the Church of God were also in the country when the quake hit. Among them was a delegation from Canada and Southern New England, and a short-term missions team from Potter’s House in Columbus, Ohio. According to Rev. Jacques Houle, administrative bishop for the Church of God in Quebec/Maritimes, three from the Canadian group have died. Traveling with that group was administrative bishop of Southern New England Jonathan Ramsey and Boston area pastor Othon Noel. Ramsey and Noel, as well as the Ohio group are safe, but remain in the country awaiting transportation back to North America. Details on how the three from the delegation were killed is still unclear…

Since 1933, the Church of God has had a presence in Haiti. Jacques Vital-Herne wrote on March 17, 1933, to S. W. Latimer, the third overseer of Church of God, to affiliate with the Church in Cleveland. At that time, there were eight local churches and by 1936, Haiti had 30 churches. Presently there are 741 local churches, 327 missions and more than 250,000 members. The Church of God is among the largest Christian movements in Haiti and also includes schools, such as the Seminaire Biblique. It is one of four bachelor’s-degree granting schools in Haiti and one of three in the country that is approved to train public school teachers. The Church of God has more than 100 schools (including elementary), several clinics, hospitals According to LeRoy, due to strained communication a full assessment of the casualties among church members and damage to buildings and homes will not be possible for some time. LeRoy did confirm that some of the national buildings were damaged, but the national office and missionary home are intact.

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