Rev. Dr. Patrick Villier
June 24, 1963 - December 15, 2016
Patrick Villier, 53, was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. June 24th, 1963. He was married to Francoise Stvil Villier. He raised a family of 6 children and 5 grandchildren.
A hard worker, Patrick was the kind of person who was always compassionate, generous, and thinking of others more than himself. His life was totally dedicated to others. A role model as a father and a loving husband who would give his life for his family. He was the feet to the lame, the eyes to the blind, and he spoke for those who were not heard.
He was, until his death, the President and General Bishop of the National Spiritual Council of Churches in Haiti (CONASPEH). CONASPEH was founded the 8th of May 1986 when 50 pastors from churches of different confessions from the nine geographical departments in the country assembled together with the idea of putting an end to the racial, state, economic, and religious exclusions of which they and their members had long been victims. CONASPEH became, in that sense, “the voice of the voiceless” in the churches in Haiti and Patrick was that leader that incarnated these values.
CONASPEH, under Patrick's leadership, affirmed that education is the major key to achieving its goal and meeting the needs of the people. This was the motivation for the establishment of primary and secondary schools in their headquarters building and a school association that coordinates the primary and secondary schools which are operated by member churches. Vocational workshops are also organized to give a professional and technical formation to youth, especially in remote areas of the country.
Patrick had a clear concept of Mission in the context of Haiti and Latin America and the Caribbean. Quoting from a recent survey the Latin America and Caribbean Office made to our partners in the Caribbean about what is Mission for them, he answered that, “Mission is, in the first place, deeply a vocation and not an opportunity. Vocation is God’s call to someone who has abilities to understand the dimension of that call. Big or small, Mission brings hope in whatever the circumstances to whoever and wherever. Secondly, God’s Mission is never in contradiction with the people: Each nation has his own culture that is its personality, its character, its value, and its dignity. So, a mission which attacks one of these values cannot be considered as God’s Mission. Mission should walk together with culture, what identify the spirituality of the Mission. In Mission, people must share experiences, stories, weakness and strength. Through Mission people must discover the news faces of Jesus, to find the truth.”
He was very emphatic on his statement that “economics or money is only an opportunity to accomplish God’s Mission. It is secondary thing; it should be accompanied with presence. Economics cannot be under the Mission or criteria that define God’s Mission. Economics guide the world, but never lead a spiritual relation between people, organizations, churches etc.” Also, speaking about politics and Mission, he would say that, today, politics is one of the big challenges of our Mission. Politics is in all or all is politics. Today we mustn’t ignore, in our preaching, talking about actions and life as Christians and Citizens. So, churches in the USA should be Ambassadors for those who lose their rights as human beings. In other words, Mission is Presence of God in Earth through His people. The old way to do Mission is not a real solution and does not represent God's Mission: Paternalism and colonialism are contrary to true Mission. It is also to share our faith in a different way and context, social and political context included. So, same God, same Spirit, but different social and cultural context, is that which makes us one in different situations and needs.
Global Ministries Co-Executive and Division of Overseas Ministries’ President, Rev. Julia Brown Karimu, said in a letter to his widow Francoise that, “rarely, do we have the opportunity to encounter someone with the prophetic vision and witness that Patrick shared with the world. He never was threatened by all of the losses he and the family suffered as a result of his witness. He kept the faith and worked tirelessly to bring about justice and wholeness to the community in which he committed his life. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to know Patrick, to have engaged in dialogue with him and to personally witness his ministry in the Church of Jesus Christ.”
The funeral was held on December 17, 2016 at Haisley Funeral & Cremation Service, Fort Pierce Chapel, in Fort Pierce, FL. There will be another memorial service in Haiti.