Batey Churches

 

The Haitian Mission Baptist Church is the home church to Haitian Baptists living in LaRomana and many of the bateys, or sugar cane villages, in the region. The church was founded 1911 when the Central Romana Sugar Company opened the sugar mill in La Romana.  As the largest sugar refinery in the country many people were needed to plant and harvest the tens of thousands of acres of sugar cane that would keep the refinery in operation.  These people were sold to the Dominican government by Papa Doc, one of the most infamous dictators of Haiti.

With the large community of Haitians being relocated the Haitian Baptist Association realized the spiritual need of these families and established the First Haitian Baptist Missionary church as a church plant.

In 1978 the late Jean Luc Phanord was sent to LaRomana to provide spiritual leadership and strengthen the church. By the mid 1980’s Jean Luc had rebuilt the church to the point where the congregation was spilling out of the sanctuary into the street.

In the mid 1980’s the First Baptist Church in North Abington, MA began construction of the sanctuary used today.  This was one of the first projects supported by short term teams.

In 1998 the region was struck with the full force of Hurricane George, a category five storm.  The storm caused a significant amount of damage in the city and flattened many of the buildings in the bateys.  Among the buildings destroyed were churches of wood construction that had been built over the previous twenty years.

Responding to the need of providing a new spiritual home for the families most of the churches were replaced over the next three years.  The newly constructed buildings are built with solid footings and concrete blocks.  The design is sturdy enough to resist the force of the next hurricane.

Church construction continues as one of the more important batey projects today. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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