The First Baptist Haitian Misson Church, Maranatha Church, was first organized in the 1930's when thousands of Haitian farmers were taken from their homes in Haiti and transported to La Romana by the US Marines. The sugar cane farming in Haiti was on the brink of disappearing and a new large scale plantation was starting up in the Dominican Republic.
These were the first Haitians in the region and soon after the men were brought east their families followed. The Haitian Baptist Association saw the need for a church where the Haitians could build a Christian community and worship God with the customs familiar to them.
Early in the 1980's the aging pastor was replaced with a young pastor filled with the spirit of God and passionate for the Haitians living in the region. The late Rev. Jean Luc Phanord arrived with his family and moved into Casa Pastoral on Santa Rosa Ave.
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