Sunday, August 30, 2015 — In a society where moral values, and humbleness is fleeting, Pastor Elie Henry Sr., stands out. A respected moral authority, pastor and freedom fighter, Henry Sr. was honored on Sunday, Aug. 30 with a Doctor Honoris Causa degree from the Université Adventiste d’Haiti (UNAH). The university is affiliated with the Inter-American Theological Seminary (IATS) for which reason its president, Dr. Jaime Castrejon handed the Doctorate degree to Pastor Henry,Sr.
The four-hour long ceremony in Carrefour was well-attended by graduates of the university and professionals to witness this historical moment. The honor was a first for the university, which has been preparing young Haitians since 1921.
Henry, 89, received not only the doctorate but the class of August 2015, now also bears his name and will forever be known as the Elie Henry promotion. A humbled and quiet man who enjoys life out of the spotlight, he responded with a “Thank you.”
A native of Petite-Rivière de l’Artibonite, he grew up as a neighbor of the former minister of finance and presidential candidate in the 1957 elections, Clément Jumelle. This friendship gave Henry a front row seat to Haiti’s history that few can claim. It has also made Henry, an avid reader, a human reference library on the country’s history over several generations.
It is an award well-deserved to an inspiring man. I can personally testify that the wisdom in humans is still valuable and humbleness lives. A quiet man, he is a pastor and teacher who count among his cherished treasures his Biblical library.
It is not an accident that he has received this honor. His career as an educator, for example at UNAH, of many disciplines with a Christian-based helped prepare generations of young Haitians for the world. He also selflessly devoted his life to serving God as a pastor and former teacher of Theology for the master’s program.
It is sad that Government officials, including the Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training, Nesmy Manigat, wasn’t not invited to witness this historical event and laud the father of one of their own. Henry is the father of Interior Minister, and one of Haiti’s leading neurologists, Dr. Ariel Henry.
Also absent from this wonderful event in which more than 100 students graduated, was the local press. It was a missed opportunity to celebrate not just someone who has contributed to Haitian society, but who has inspired and educated countless future leaders.
Elie Henry, Sr. is the symbol of men of high moral character who are increasingly becoming rare in our society. He has made combined Biblical teaching and statesmanship, and showed through his integrity, loyalty and honesty that we can build respected Haitian men and women of multiple generations.
August 30, 2015