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Evangelical Pastor in Haiti Gunned Down

An evangelical pastor with a well-known radio program was shot to death Monday in Haiti’s capital, local authorities reported.
( [email protected] ) Sep 16, 2004 04:55 PM EDT

An evangelical pastor with a well-known radio program was shot to death Monday in Haiti’s capital, local authorities reported.

The Rev. Jean Moles Lovinsky Berthomieux, one of Haiti’s most popular radio personalities, was shot several times as he was leaving his Port-au-Prince home for Radio Caraibes FM, where his religious program, “The Morning Manna,” was Haiti’s top-rated show.

According to Reuters, after the shooting, his wife Verna climbed the roof of her house to evade the gunmen who shot her husband.

The gunmen escaped. Meanwhile, the authorities said they were investigating the case and that there was no immediate indication the killing was politically motivated.

Berthomieux, better known to listeners in the poor Caribbean country as “Pastor Moles”, presented the Creole-language show for more than 15 years. His show which included religious songs and prayer, was said to be the most listened radio show in the Caribbean country of eight million residents, according to Joseph Guyler Delva, head of the Haitian Journalists Association.

“Everyone listened to him, even those not from the Protestant church,” he told the Associated Press.

“I can say I was addicted to his show and his calm voice,” said one listener. “I never woke up a morning without listening to him.”

Patrick Mounsignac, owner of Radio Caraibes FM, told Reuters, “He was a man of principle, a humanist, a very respectful and kind person who had a passion for life and for what he was doing.”

Sources say the “Morning Manna” radio program became so popular that Berthomieux used it as a trademark for his businesses and denominational activities. He created a Morning Manna high school, a Morning Manna professional center and a Morning Manna Biblical school.

After his death, dozens of fans reportedly rushed to the capital's general hospital morgue to try to see his body. But relatives said they would have to wait for the funeral, which could take place at the weekend.

Berthomieux is survived by his wife, who is about six months pregnant with their first child.