Haiti Outreach Ministries’ beginning can be traced back to a chance meeting between two students at Cincinnati Christian University in the mid-1980’s, Leon Dorleans from Haiti and Walker Gaulding from Virginia. A God-incidence between these two young men led to a friendship, which in turn led to another God-incidence that began the ministry you see today.
After college, both of these graduates went their separate ways. Walker returned to a church in Warsaw, Virginia, and Leon returned to Haiti where he started a church in Cité Soleil, the poorest community in the Western Hemisphere. The worshippers of this church were meeting in a narrow street under tarps, a street where raw sewage ran in a ditch directly alongside. Leon’s congregation numbered about 120 at this time, and they had been able to secure some land, but had no means to erect a building on the property.
About the same time, Walker’s home church, Fairmount Christian Church in Mechanicsville, Virginia, contacted him to see if he had suggestions about potential mission trips. Walker immediately thought of Leon and had the church contact him.
In August of 1989, the very first team went to Cité Soleil. Twenty-one members from Fairmount, along with Walker, built a crude “pole-barn” type structure with a tin roof that became the church building. Walker was honored to preach to these people who were hungry for the Word.