The Work Begins
In January 1888, Daniel T. Bourdeau and his wife from Vermont, turned their attention to working among the French-speaking people in America, beginning with New Orleans (Bourdeau, 1888). As far as is known, Bourdeau and his brother, A. C. Bourdeau, were the first of French descent to have accepted the Seventh-day Adventist faith. They spent many years in evangelism among the French-speaking people (Encyclopedia, 1976).
Ebenezer Haitian French Creole Group Begins
For many years dedicated men and women have continued taking the gospel to the French/Haitian Community in Greater New Orleans. On September 13, 2010, four SDA members of Haitian background started an ‘Ecole du Sabbat’ and had a fasting meeting at one of the member’s homes. A few months later the group began Ebenezer Church meeting at the Marrero church since that’s where they held membership. One of the group members announced to other churches in the area that a Haitian French Creole speaking church plant had begun. The group grew from four to twenty quite quickly, so the Marrero church officially voted to recognize them as a church plant group. Soon they outgrew the worship room assigned to them at the Marrero church as their numbers grew to 26 in 2012. In April 2013 the group moved to a rented location with capacity of 50. A few months later, they had to move to a larger location within the building that had a capacity of 100. A number of revival and evangelistic meetings took place yielding baptisms. Several more Haitian members in the area joined the church plant. In August of 2013 the Arkansas-Louisiana Conference Executive Committee voted to officially recognize the Ebenezer Haitian French Creole church plant (Newsletter, 2013).
Ebenezer Temple Franco-Haitian SDA Company Organized in 2014
Many people assisted with the group, such as Pastor Derek Howell and the Marrero church, and Pastors Glenn Farinola and E. J. Collins from New Orleans First church. On October 26, 2013, the Arkansas-Louisiana Conference installed their first Pastor (Newsletter, 2013). Pastor Libny Dubreuze came and shepherded this small flock for a time and under his leadership this group was organized as a company on May 10, 2014 (Dye, 2019).
Ebenezer Temple Franco-Haitian SDA Church Organized in 2019
Pastor Virgo Belizaire was installed in March 2017, and with his vision, leadership, and three evangelistic series, the company has grown to standing room only on many Sabbaths. Twenty-four new members have been baptized over the past several months. Because of that growth, Ebenezer Temple Franco-Haitian church was organized as a full-fledged church on Sabbath, March 23, 2019 (Dye, 2019).
A New Church in 2019
The congregation had outgrown its church building and it was not located in an area conducive to growth. The congregation began raising funds to buy a lovely church building that was being sold as soon as possible. The Ebenezer Temple Franco-Haitian church purchased the New Living Way church on November 20, 2019. Inauguration Day for their new church was December 21, 2019. “This church will make history in the Seventh-Day Adventist Haitian community because it will be the first Seventh-Day Adventist Haitian church in the entire state of Louisiana” (Belizaire, 2019).
(1976). Bourdeau, Daniel T. Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia. Washington D. C.: Review and Herald, p. 177.
(2013, Dec. 1). Newsletter, Arkansas-Louisiana Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, p. 3.
Belizaire, Marjorie. (2019, Oct. 4). Bldg. fund for the only Haitian SDA Church in LA. Retrieved from Gofundme.com.
Bourdeau, Daniel T. (1888, Jan. 3). Review and Herald, p. 12.
Dye Sr., Richard C. (2019, Mar. 27). Monday Morning Memo, p. 1.