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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — The son of a voodoo priest, Jeantyrard Elmera became a follower of Christ and a father figure to thousands of young people in this Caribbean nation.
Elmera, 67, died Sept. 13 in New Jersey. The longtime minister for the Delmas 28 Church of Christ in Port-au-Prince had traveled to the U.S. to undergo a corrective procedure on his eyes and suffered a heart attack.
“He was probably one of the most influential preachers that we’ve ever had in Haiti with Churches of Christ,” his longtime ministry partner and friend Ken Bever told The Christian Chronicle. “Many people say ‘he was my father’ in Haiti because they didn’t have fathers.”
Elmera played a key role in the launch of Hope for Haiti’s Children in 1995, said Bever, the nonprofit’s president. The ministry began with 13 children and has since expanded to serve more than 3,000 children in 10 communities with education, medical care, food programs, spiritual training and orphan care.
Elmera hosted an evangelistic TV program and led the Delmas School of Theology, which has trained more than 120 ministers. The minister was instrumental in the planting of at least 60 congregations in Haiti and some 8,000 baptisms, Bever said.
“We will all deeply miss our brother,” Bever said, “but we thank God for his life and his tireless efforts to train leaders who are already following in his footsteps — working daily with our U.S. team to manage our Haiti operations.”
Read more about Elmera at Hope for Haiti’s Children.
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