BISHOP LEON D. PAMPHILE
Before his death, Bishop Dautruche passed the reins of the work to Dr. Leon D. Pamphile, a son born, raised and nurtured in the Church. He was elevated to the episcopacy in November 2011 at the International Convocation in St-Louis.
Bishop Pamphile was born in Haiti in 1943.He studied at the Lycée Alexandre Pétion in Port-au-Prince. In July 1968, he received his law degree from the Faculty of Law and Economics of Port-au-Prince. In 1969, he obtained a degree from the Ecole Normale Supérieure of the University of Haiti. After arriving in the United States in 1970, he pursued academic studies at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary where he received a Master’s degree in Theology in 1974. He also studied at the University of Pittsburgh, which awarded him a Ph.D. in Education in 1980.
Bishop Pamphile is an educator. He taught French at the University of Pittsburgh and Point Park College. His teaching career in the Pittsburgh’s Public Schools spanned a period of about thirty years.
One of his priorities, however, has been the promotion of education and health care among disadvantaged social classes in Haiti, in order to keep the flame of hope alive. It was for this purpose that he founded the “Functional Literacy Ministry of Haiti” FLM-Haiti), Inc. in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1983. Bishop Pamphile served as Executive Director of FLM-Haiti for over thirty five years. This organization is known in Haiti as the Alliance d’Action Chrétienne (AAC) and has been recognized as a non-governmental organization (NGO) since 2007.
The AAC operates seventy literacy centers in Haiti with an average of four thousand participants a year, as well as a primary and secondary school attended by about six hundred students. Following the terrible earthquake of January 2010, the AAC set up in the region of Thomassin, the “Excelsior Technical Institute” which provides advanced training to young people in the field of earthquake-resistant construction techniques.
Since 2000, AAC Haiti has provided medical care to the needy through medical mission teams during the summer. Some ten thousand people have been helped through this program. The AAC built, with the help of an organization in Charlottesville, Virginia, called “Building Goodness Foundation”, the House of David Community Health Center that provides medical and dental care to some thirty thousand inhabitants of the communities of Laboule, Thomassin, Pyron and neighboring areas.
Bishop Pamphile is also a researcher focusing on the relations between Haiti and the United States, with particular emphasis on the links between Haitians and African Americans. In his book, “Haitians and African-Americans: A Heritage of Tragedy and Hope”, he highlights the common struggle of the two peoples in overcoming slavery, racism, discrimination and the socio-economic legacies resulting from these events that constituted their history. His other books are “Education in Haiti under the American Occupation”, “The Cross and the Sword: The Catholic Church and the American Occupation of Haiti” (Prize of the Society of History and Geography (1990) ) and “Contrary Destinies: The American Occupation, Disoccupation and Reoccupation of Haiti.” He has also published numerous articles on the same topic in newspapers and magazines, both in the United States and in Haiti.
Bishop Pamphile is also the author of two inspirational and motivational works in the English language: “The Mind of Christ: Your Weapon of Victory” and “Adjusting to Life Changing Seasons.”
He has held seminars and spoken at various American institutions of Higher Education: the University of Pittsburgh and Penn State University, the Universities of Maryland and Harvard University, and Marymount Manhattan College, New York and Southern University in Louisiana. In August 2007, he also participated in a symposium organized by the Justo Mwale Theological Seminary in Lusaka, Zambia.
In 2007, Dr. Pamphile was recognized by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for “outstanding academic contributions and historical research focused on the parallelism of conflicts endured by Haitians and African Americans.”
In November 2011, Dr. Pamphile was consecrated bishop of the Church of God in Christ of Haiti by Bishop Charles E. Blake. He succeeded Bishop Lopez Dautruche who was retiring. Bishop Pamphile was officially established in this new position on January 29, 2012. His dedication is boundless in the face of the great challenge of rebuilding nearly forty-six churches that were either destroyed or damaged in the January 2010 earthquake.
Despite this enormous humanitarian and educational endeavor, his episcopal vision remains focused on evangelization as a vehicle for spreading Christ’s message of hope and love. A fervent promoter of higher education, he has created a seminary for the training of pastors. In 2012, he inaugurated the Jean-Price-Mars University, campus Church of God in Christ, which includes a Faculty of Nursing Sciences. He firmly believes in rebuilding Haiti on a sustainable basis in the light of the Gospel and education.
Many articles on Leon Pamphile’s life and achievements have appeared in publications such as Pitt Magazine, Pittsburgh-Post Gazette, NAACP Crisis Magazine and others.
In August 1969, Léon D. Pamphile was united in the marriage bond with the gracious Marie Rozelle Gousse. From their union, three children and four grandchildren were born.
FIRST LADY MARIE-ROZELLE PAMPHILE
MOTHER DOLLIE BENNETT-MILFORT
MOTHER NADINE MIRACLES
MOTHER MINNIE HILL
Joseph Eleona Paul