Last Sunday, Calvary Baptist Church had its usual Sunday service.
The congregants sang hymns, heard announcements and listened to pastor Brian Johnson's sermon about handling what God brings you. It was a typical church service for this area, it lasted about an hour and then the congregants filed out.
What happened next, when L'eglise Baptiste Tabernacle International met in the same chapel, was the opposite. For the next two hours, the church on E. National Highway saw the same devotion, but from an exuberant spirit brought by Haitian pastor Jacques Estimphile and 25 of Washington's newest residents — Haitian immigrants.
During the service, there were several songs by several singers, sermons by Estimphile and an assistant pastor, a drummer, an organ, several tambourines and a PA system that was struggling to keep up in the small chapel. There were several times during the service where the congregants were on their knees in prayer. The service ended with Estimphile and his family on their knees in front of the church altar in prayer, with the congregants praying all around them.
An awesome sight, and a total contrast to the Calvary service a few hours before, but the two are linked in partnership. The Haitian church has been an outreach of Calvary and Johnson for a couple months.
"God just kind of threw it in our lap," Johnson said.
He explains by observing the Haitians walking around town for the past year. Johnson, like many, has taken mission trips to Haiti and thought about creating a ministry for the new residents.
Then, he got a call from the state baptist convention from Indiana. They received a call from Estimphile, who was in Georgia at the time, on the creation of a new church in Washington. A couple weeks later, Estimphile came and the ministry started.