Celebrating God’s faithfulness through 20 years of VBC

Today marks the 20th anniversary of Victory Bible Church’s first service.

Much like the Lighthouse was created for kids without a home, and Grace Emmanuel School was created for kids without a school, Victory Bible Church was created for a group of teens and young adults that had nowhere to go to church.

The birth of VBC

“It started as a youth group,” remembered Pastor Derson, who was 13 at the time. “The objective wasn’t to start a church.”

Yet as more and more kids heard the gospel and came to know Christ, they had a problem. Because the youth wore jeans and T-shirts, and some of the boys had long hair, traditional churches in the area wouldn’t permit them to attend their worship services.

“You needed dress pants and button up shirts to go to church,” said Derson.

Hear Roger and Derson recount the birth of Victory Bible Church in this 3-minute video.

Roger, who currently serves as JiHM’s Director of Operations, was part of JiHM’s original leadership team at that time, helping with youth groups and kids clubs in the area.

“We had a bunch of people who came to our Bible studies, and who came to our youth group, and they loved Christ,” Roger remembered. “So we said, let’s just have church.”

The leaders met with a local pastor who agreed to let them use his building on Saturday afternoons.

Roger and Derson at early services of Victory Bible Church

On May 29, 2004, the first service of Victory Bible Church was held.

“We brought musical instruments and had no expectations, except for our kids,” said Roger. “Once they came, we were just going to have church. So we started the service. We had a great praise and worship and then we had the pastor preach and all of the sudden the building was packed with people.”

The enthusiasm for the church only grew, Roger remembered. “They were asking if we could have church every day.”

Serving a faithful God

After five years of meeting on Saturday evenings in a borrowed location, Victory Bible Church had the opportunity to move to its own property. The church began meeting on Sunday mornings under a large circus-style tent until an open air structure was completed a few years later.

From its founding in 2004 through today, the church has existed to preach the gospel, with an emphasis on seeking and serving the one true God who reveals Himself through the Bible.

VBC meets under a tent at JiHM’s property in January 2010
Stevenson at a youth event at VBC in 2020

“What I like most about Victory Bible Church is its focus on the Word of God,” said Stevenson, 24, who has been attending VBC since he was 6 years old. “The pastors preach what comes from Scripture, not just what they have heard or think.”

Through the witness and work of VBC, God has made Himself known throughout Source Matelas, rescuing many of His children from the slavery of voodoo which was prevalent in the village.

“Despite our imperfections and despite our unfaithfulness,” said Derson, who become the lead pastor at VBC in 2019, “God has always shown us His goodness and His faithfulness.”

The 10th anniversary celebration at Victory Bible Church in 2014

Through two decades, God has brought VBC through an earthquake, a pandemic, and leadership turnovers. Derson has witnessed God bring growth from every trouble, which is why he continues to cling to the promise of Romans 8:28 right now.

“We can stay calm and remain confident because nothing can happen without God’s permission,” said Derson. “God plans everything. The years that have passed, the years to come, every second. Not even a hair can fall from your head without God’s permission.”

Today both Roger and Derson believe He is at work to bring Victory Bible Church back home.

Hope for another homecoming

On April 16, 2023, VBC held what would be its last service on its property. Three days later gangs invaded Source Matelas and have held control of the village ever since.

The church’s leadership team has continued to serve through these 13 months of displacement, visiting members scattered all over the country and keeping encouragement and relationships alive through social media avenues like WhatsApp.

In January, the team revived meeting again on Sundays, once again in a borrowed space. It was in this space that the remnant of VBC celebrated its 20th anniversary this past Sunday with the theme of “the faithfulness of God” taken from 2 Timothy 2:13, which says: “if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”

Derson and Roger both remain optimistic about the future.

“We are going to go back to our property,” said Roger. “That’s a period. We’re going to go back.”

After they return, Derson envisions years of growth ahead, with more staff to serve in various roles and an increased capacity for ministry.

“We will have a greater impact in Source Matelas, and not just Source Matelas, but the whole country of Haiti,” he said.

Roger also sees VBC planting churches across Haiti, particularly in areas beyond the mountains where the gospel has not reached.

“There are people who don’t have a clue who Christ is,” he said. “This is why we are alive. To preach the gospel.”

We praise God for His faithfulness to Victory Bible Church these 20 years. Happy birthday, VBC!

Kristi Bucher has served as Communications Manager for Jesus in Haiti Ministries since 2014. She currently lives in Minnesota with her husband, Nathan, and two kids. Kristi and Nathan lived in Haiti from 2012–2014.