Pastor Luc Deratus, the founding minister of Harmony Ministries, was born in Leogone, Haiti in 1950 and was adopted and raised by an aunt and uncle in the capital city of Port-au-Prince. He was trained in school as an accountant and teacher. At the age of 24, with the help of an American missionary who he met while serving as principal of a church supported primary school in Port-au-Prince, Pastor Luc began formal ministerial training at the Christ of the Nations Bible School in Dallas, Texas. After graduating, he attended Dallas Baptist University for one year and assisted in starting a Christian radio station, which broadcast to Haiti.
In 1981 he returned to Haiti and began his first church in Port-au-Prince. By 1985, with the help of American friends from a church in Trenton, N.J., he built a church and school in Cite Militaire, one of the poorest slums in the capital. He subsequently began satellite churches in the mountain town of Thoman and in his hometown of Leogone. By 1988, with the assistance of churches in Texas, Florida and New Jersey, he had established schools in all three locations. In 1992, with the help of his wife, Ronide, a trained medical assistant, he set up a medical clinic and pharmacy at the Cite Militaire site and hired a part time physician.
Over the years and with help from U.S. churches, the buildings were repaired and expanded, food, medical and school supplies were provided, and additional teachers were hired. In the fall of 2006, after months of turmoil in Port au Prince caused by gangs and subsequent United Nations intervention, Pastor Luc moved his family to safety in Florida. Pastor Luc spends most of his time in Haiti, returning to Florida to visit his family and tend to administrative and financial matters. Over time he has trained lay leaders in his churches and hired principals for his schools; they continue his work when Pastor Luc is not in Haiti.
Prior to the earthquake in January 2010 the mission site in Port-au-Prince served over 1,000 church members, had over 250 students in its school (the only primary school in the district), held medical clinics three days a week, and operated a food pantry. The outlying missions in Thoman and Leogane served over 300 people and educated over 150 children.
The earthquake destroyed the church and school in Leogane, and in Port au Prince the major part of the school, church and clinic were destroyed. Pastor Luc and his people had services for the dead, helped the injured, sheltered the homeless, fed the hungry, and started clearing rubble and rebuilding. They constructed a large tent on the church property, salvaged usable materials and supplies, and held church services under the tent and school in temporary tin-walled spaces. In June 2015 a large, sturdy beautiful new church was competed and dedicated in Port-au-Prince.
During the time of reconstruction in Port-au-Prince, Pastor Luc also built a small church and primary school in the remote mountain village of LaSalle, his mother’s home. In just three years the school attendance has grown to almost 150 and continues to expand.