[tabs tab1=”Introduction” tab2=”1st Service” tab3=”2nd Acquisition” tab4=”Projections”] [tab1]
In the year of our Lord 1973, February 15, at the invitation of Reverend Doctor Philius Nicolas, a group of Christians met at 351 Prospect Place in Brooklyn, New York, to try to put the structure based on a theology of liberation, a new trend that shook the world asleep at the time of the movement.
The following people responded to the call:
1) Nicolas Philius, the Haitian Evangelical Church of Jesus Christ.
2) Gift Mathieu, who died in 1984, then Secretary of the French phrase Baptist Church.
3) John Albert Rejoice, editor of the Journal “Good News of Eternal Life”
4) The Rev. Gesner Leo Francis now blind, Pastor of the Evangelical Crusade to French Guyana and Haiti.
5) The Rev.. Light Duteau, Independent.
6) Brother Max Castor, co-editors and publisher of “Good News of Eternal Life.”
FIRST MEETING WORKPLAN
During our first meeting, we decided to adopt two MAJOR POINTS:
1 . The responsibility of the Church in the community.
2 . The modis operendis motion with respect to our predecessors.
Considering the first point, several issues relating to necessities and physical needs of Haitians living abroad were raised:
a) The promotion of spirituality.
b) The grant to the physical needs of Haitian residents in foreign countries, by applying the methods of Jesus Christ.
c) The representation of the Community with the Government to address the various problems we face.
d) Immigration, unemployment, English literacy, food, interpreting, document translation, the problem of housing, health, etc.
February 22, 1973, we met at 350 East 356th Street, in the salons of the family Rejoice, to fix the date of the opening movement.
Pastor H. Philius Nicolas had to resign from his position as assistant pastor at the Haitian Evangelical Church of Jesus Christ, founded and directed by Rev. Dugelin Augustus, after nine years of service. In his farewell message with the title, “God in search of men, he emphasized the famous words of Jesus, drawn in Matt 4:19;.”Follow me and I will make you fishers of men”. This is exactly how the name “Evangelical Crusade of Fishers of Men” came about, which was officially adopted and unanimously by those present during our work session. It was May 20, 1973, around. 4:00 in the afternoon. Relatives and friends gathered for the first public meeting in the premises of the Charity Baptist Church. Everything took place in an atmosphere of brotherhood, love and joy for the choice of name, and outlines the objectives of the Evangelical Crusade.
The following Sunday, May 27, 1973, at 10 am, twenty people expressed a desire to join us to worship the Lord and be part of the Evangelical Crusade of Fishers of Men. Our appearance in the community of Brooklyn took place with only 20 people, now the number is more than two thousand.
“GLORY BE DELIVERED TO GOD” FIRST OBSTACLE
Access to local adoration during weekdays only possible, we held our prayer meetings and Bible Studies at the Nicolas family at 351 Prospect Place in Brooklyn, NY.
The Lord keeps watch over us, in the twinkling of an eye, had us up in a room at 216 Rogers Avenue. It also opened the doors wider with a financial loan of $5,000.00 from the Nicolas family. Each member also helped to expand the fund, which has allowed the purchase and restoration of local 216 Rogers Avenue.
The Lord has always supported us in all of our activities. On September 22, 1973, we opened the new place of worship with the assistance of unmeasured members, friends and the Committee Charity Baptist Church. The Lord did not fail to add every day the souls of all those who were saved. In a very short time the local became too small to accommodate all the new and old members. This encouraging development was repeated thereafter.
This beginning has not been without struggles, difficulties and troubles. Dr. Edward W. Wharton who allowed us to use the Day Care of His Church as a place of worship, demanded our immediate departure, without cause or reason known to us. God was watching over his work forced him to give us a two-month period.
FIRST FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
A servant of the Lord, Sister Philomena Taylor, now deceased, has criticized Pastor Nicolas who then faced budgetary inconveniences, its reluctance to reveal the plans of the Evangelical Crusade. After an interview, the sister wished to help with all of his salary, or $ 25.00 to the advancement of the work. She laid the financial foundation of the Crusade. In an interval of four months, 20 members, we pass 80. The Lord continued to add to the church, those who were called and saved by Him for our evangelistic campaigns.
SECOND ACQUISITION OF PROPERTY
With an open eye on our needs, the Lord who appreciated our ongoing efforts, we put in contact with one of his servants, to help us. Dr. Charles Lamb, of the Christian Church, Disciple of Christ was led by the Almighty to help us through the Regional Committee of that organization. We received a loan of $87,000.00 which has enabled us to acquire 1488 New York Avenue, at the corner of Farragut Road, Brooklyn, New York. We completely restored, purchased benches, and artistically made with velvet we ran from one end to the other. Room more beautiful worship it seems today. The first service was held March 15, 1978. To address the urgent and growing needs of the community and members of the Church, Pastor Nicolas had to leave his job at the hospital Saint Luke in Manhattan to engage fully in the work of the Lord through the Crusade Evangelical Fishermen of Men.
With the support of the Christian Church, Church World Service and the dedicated collaboration of the members of the Crusade, we have:
Relieve sixty families, housing in a Building at the corner “Westbury Court”
Help them learn to read and write the English language to countless people.
Help our brothers and sisters to find jobs and so amé1iorer their lives.
Help find scholarships for our Haitian students.
Provide hospitality to more than 4,500 people fleeing the hell of Duvalier and his Tonton Macoutes, to say that.
EVENT OF DIVINE POWER
Once again, the space problem arose for the Evangelical Crusade. The Church continues to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, the souls there are added every day. And we have not ceased to work for the Lord’s work and the benefit of the community.
A MONUMENT TO THE HONOR OF THE LIVING GOD.
Any person visiting our temple, acknowledges that the Lord has blessed us. We could build our own resources and our human forces that building. We Haitians are proud of such an achievement in New York, the first city in the world. This temple is a witness, he proclaimed our love for God raises us in dignity on American soil. This temple is the size of the Haitian community, active in New York. This gives it more value is that it is an accomplishment, a collective achievement with the Haitian footprint. It does no doubt that without your support and your financial contribution, this work would be impossible. The Grand Architect of the Universe are watching.
Although the road was sometimes slippery. Human as we are, we knew each other sometimes discouragement, we walk on thorns and thistles, we were humbled to the depths of our soul, we have been fortified like the prophet Jeremiah we hope in goodness of God: “The goodness of the Lord are not exhausted, his mercies are not an end, and they are new every morning” (Lamentations 3: 22-23).
The Lord our God does not deliver us to the derision of our enemies, we can contemplate with pride this gigantic work. Like the Prophet Samuel we cry aloud: “EBEN-EZER: So far the Lord has helped us”
If we knew the size of the project may be, we would have never ventured. The Lord we had hidden on purpose, knowing our weaknesses. We childishly thought of a $800,000.00 project, but we ended up with a $2, 500,000.00 one. To think only, it appears to us as an incredible dream that only dissipates and reality changes contemplation. That glory be to God, and to Him and our thousand thanks for his faithfulness, mercy and blessings.
ENTENTRETIEN AND MAINTENANCE
Such realization leaves us with a huge debt. It is not just birth, to be reared and educated. You might realize our regular requirement.
WALKING TO PROGRESS CONTINUES
We stop there would be a total defeat. The burden is heavy. Future projects already in progress can not sink:
The construction of churches and schools in Haiti
Visits to churches in the country and the Cote d’Ivoire.
Radio Station “GOOD NEWS” on WYGG 88.1 FM broadcasting 24 hours a day, seven days a week from 6 am to midnight.
The opening of an elementary school for our children.
The constant development of the work creating new needs and imposing new necessities. And we do not finish.
The unfinished work leaves us dissatisfied. We have come a very long way together for several years of our existence. Very large projects have been made, but the work that remains ahead is long and dangerous. The task remains unfinished. We invite you to redouble efforts and courage to stand firm the banner of the Gospel and of the Institution. Be transformed into the image of Christ in Glory to Glory.
We extend our sincere thanks to all of you brave soldiers for Christ. In the name of the Lord, we thank you for your spiritual and material support, your dedication, Constance, your perseverance, your presence and daily struggles. May the LORD rained upon you its rich and manifold blessings. Finally, honor the memory of members of the Evangelical Crusade royalties we have for the other world.