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You may have heard (or read) us talk about MEBSH. Mission Evangélique Baptiste Sud d’Haïti (MEBSH) or The Evangelical Baptist Mission of South Haiti is RMI’s Haitian partner church association. While they are not associated with a particular Baptist group in the US, they are baptistic in theology and practice. They are the largest church association in Haiti with 450+ churches.
RMI works under their umbrella in Haiti. All the churches that we minister to are MEBSH churches. They provide representation in the country for our missionaries and legal status for RMI. Legally, all our Haitian staff are employees of MEBSH and all RMI’s physical assets (land, vehicles, etc.) are in MEBSH’s name. This protects RMI and our ministries as well as if all foreign agencies were required to leave Haiti, none of our assets would be seized. All of this is protected by contractual agreements with MEBSH. By partnering with MEBSH, RMI, and our US churches are guaranteed that any facilities built, or land purchased is owned by MEBSH and not any one person or pastor.
In the 1920s, West Indies Mission (later to be named World Team) sent missionaries to Cuba. They founded the Cuba Bible Institute. The missionaries, students, and graduates of the institute ministered to the Cuban and Haitian sugarcane workers. Many were saved and churches were established. But in the early 1930s, the Cuban president at the time kicked out all the Haitian sugarcane workers. Most were deported to southern Haiti. There these simple men began sharing the Gospel and churches were formed. These men felt that they needed formal Biblical training and asked West Indies Mission to come and establish a Bible school.
In 1936, 3 American and Cuban missionaries began to work in southern Haiti and in 1937 they opened a Bible school in Les Cayes. On Christmas Day, 1958, MEBSH and West Indies Mission (later named Worldteam) launched Radio Lumiere, a network ultimately of 9 radio stations, including a radio station, studio & television station in Port-au-Prince. In 2013, MEBSH had 488 churches with over 60,000 members and an estimated affiliation of over 200,000 regular church attenders, making it one of the largest Protestant denominations in Haiti. MEBSH also has one member church in the Dominican Republic and another in the Dutch sector of Saint Marten.
The MEBSH operates numerous educational, health, and development institutions in Haiti:
413 primary and secondary schools
University Lumiere, consisting of eight colleges
Two seminaries: Faculté de Théologie Évangélique Lumière in Cayes and one in Port-a-Prince
Bible institute: Institut Biblique Lumière in Cayes
2 full-service hospital: Hôpital Lumière in Bonne Fin and Centre de Santé Lumière in Cayes
School for the Deaf
Integrated Rural Development
From 2012 - 2021, the president of MEBSH was Rev. Alnève Emile. Under Pastor Alnève’s direction, MEBSH joined the Baptist World Alliance and the Caribbean Baptist Fellowship in 2013. MEBSH is also a member of the Protestant Federation of Haiti and the Evangelical Council of Haitian Churches.
In December 2021 Pastor Alnève’s tenure finished and Pastor Lusson Napoléon was elected.
MEBSH holds an annual 5-day convention for the encouragement of their churches and members. This convention draws 10-12,000 people. In 2019 they celebrated their 80th anniversary.
RMI has been blessed to have a partner like MEBSH. They provide great, well-trained, and mature churches/leadership with which to engage. They hold their pastors and leaders accountable when needed. They provide good counsel to our staff. They have been a great partner in ministry, enabling RMI and its US partner churches to, hand-in-hand with its churches, impact hundreds of communities with the Gospel. This is the Church in action.
Pastor Alnève Emile
MEBSH president 2012-2021
Pastor and Madame Lusson Napoléon
MEBSH president 2022-