Haitian Baptist celebration calls for unity to accomplish Great Commission

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ORLANDO, Fla.— Haitian pastors, their wives and church leaders gathered at First Baptist Church in Orlando on Sunday night to celebrate unity among themselves and with the Florida Baptist family to accomplish the Great Commission.

“We kept the same theme as the rest of the convention gathering,” said John Voltaire, Haitian church catalyst of the Florida Baptist Convention. “We wanted to focus on being unified and working together because that is how we can accomplish the Great Commission.”

During the celebration, the choir from First Haitian Baptist Church in Orlando had a special presentation. Haitian Fellowship leaders were presented along with Central Florida Haitian pastors.

Haitian State Fellowship, Florida Baptist State Convention“We wanted everyone to know who the leaders and pastors are,” said Voltaire, to create fellowship and encourage connections and partnerships.

Keny Felix, pastor of Bethel Evangelical Baptist Church in Miami, delivered a message on the theme centered on being “One.”

“Dr. Keny challenged us to go beyond our local context,” said Voltaire. “If we’re going to carry out the Great Commission, then we have to work together even beyond our local communities.”

The group also came together on Tuesday for lunch, this time with an attendance of approximately 275.

During that meeting the group reelected fellowship leaders from the past year. They are: Evens Jules, pastor of Bethel Evangelical Baptist Church in Delray, president; Jackson Voltaire, pastor of Grace Connection Church in South Florida, vice-president; and Joel Lamour, pastor of Haitian Fellowship Baptist Church in Fort Lauderdale, director.

At that time Voltaire shared the vision set by Tommy Green, executive director-treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention, during his Convention address.

Challenge 2025” will spur Florida Baptists to attain a new level of commitment to reach the state with the gospel.

These include:

—increase church plants to 75 per year and church revitalizations to 100 per year;

–baptize 30,000 new believers each year;

–expand mission engagements to involve 12,000 Florida Baptists annually;

–increase annual giving through Cooperative Program to $33 million from $30 million; and

–elevate gifts to the Maguire State Mission Offering to a million dollars.

“I recast Dr. Green’s vision and what it means for the Haitian churches,” Voltaire said. “We have to be a part of the greater Baptist community in our state and work together as one.”

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