VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 11/1/17)—International Ministries (IM) has announced that Ketly Pierre, an IM missionary in Haiti, has received the Orlando Costas Alumni Award from Palmer Theological Seminary of Eastern University. The award was presented during the “Celebrating Latino/a Heritage Month and Culture and Theology” event at Iglesia Sion in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on October 10, 2017.
Ketly, a Palmer alumna (MDiv 1991), is being recognized for her commitment to holistic ministries of justice and compassion in the world, and in gratitude for her outstanding witness as a graduate of the seminary.
The Orlando Costas Alumni Award was presented by Dr. David Bronkema, interim dean of Palmer Theological Seminary. “We are delighted to confer this alumni award upon Ketly,” he says. “We thank God for her ministry in both Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic and for her passion for starting new churches and ministries in Latin America, while discipling new believers in Christ. She is an inspiration to our students through her dedicated and faithful service to God, and she exemplifies the motto of our seminary: ‘The Whole Gospel, for the Whole World, Through Whole Persons.’”
“My deepest desire is to please God and be obedient,” says Ketly Pierre. “I pray to God for a compassionate heart in order to fulfill the call of God in my life.” She, along with her husband, Vital Pierre, has walked with many children, young people and adults in their ministries in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. Her passion is to open people’s eyes to the love of God so they can know him and do his will “on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)
Today, Ketly and Vital Pierre serve among the Haitian immigrants and Dominican Haitians in the Dominican Republic. “It is difficult to be a foreigner,” Ketly Pierre says of the Haitians living in the D.R. “The Lord is leading me to walk alongside the people who are in need of a compassionate heart and the love of Christ.”
The Orlando Costas Alumni Award was established in honor of the service of Dr. Orlando E. Costas, a missiologist and theologian and a relationship builder with Latino/a churches. He is perhaps most remembered as a passionate advocate for the voiceless and oppressed. He left a major mark on a number of Latino/a scholars, having written 14 books during his lifetime and contributed to 17 additional books and 40 journals. Dr. Costas died in 1987 at the age of 45.
Accepting the award for Ketly was IM Area Director for Iberoamerica and the Caribbean Adalia Gutiérrez-Lee. She says, “I met Ketly while in seminary and have always followed her leadership. What an honor for her to receive Orlando Costas Award! I am certain that Orlando Costas would have been pleased with Ketly’s ministry, knowing that such a faithful servant has nurtured many lives with faith, joy, hope and compassion.”
International Ministries, also known as the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society, works cross-culturally to invite people to become disciples of Jesus Christ and to proclaim, through both word and deed, God’s reign of justice, peace and abundant life for all creation.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.