- Faith & Family
Reverend Enoch D. Milien, 54, has been in ministry for the last 32 years of his life, and during that time, he has found that the purpose of pastors has remained the same.
“We as pastors have a mandate to serve,” he explained. “That’s what God called us to do.”
For the past 16 of those years, he has been serving as the pastor of Philadelphia Evangelical Baptist Church.
With approximately 250 members, the church’s congregation has a majority of youth members ranging in age from 17 to 32, many of who are in college or university. Services are conducted in Creole and English.
During any weekly service, it is likely worshippers will hear Milien preaching about the importance of love and unity.
“Living in this time of stress and [economic] depression, we have to teach people about unity and love – how to love themselves, God and others,” he said.
The church promotes a popular feeding and clothing ministry that provides supplies and donations for people currently living in Haiti, where many people are still struggling to survive more than two years after a devastating earthquake struck the island nation.
“For us living in America, we are very blessed, so that’s why we say thanks to God a lot,” he said.
In recent years, churches from all denominations and serving various sized membership rolls have been called on to provide relief and sustenance to communities in several different ways – from providing food, shelter or economic assistance. When the Miami Times asked if people maybe expecting churches to handle too much, Milien calmly replied: no.
“The chruch is always willing to serve those in need,” he said. “We have a good church that is always willing to help others – that’s the way it should be.
Even with various demonstrations to take care of others, Milien also believes that people should treat themselves with care as well. So every year the church hosts a health fair which provides free screenings for chronic ailments such as diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol.
“The Bible tells us that our bodies are the temples of God,” he said. “We as ministers have to take care of ourselves, we have to take care of our bodies.”
For Milien, that often means he and his wife rise early in the morning for jogs that can last up to six miles.
Keeping healthy is important since the senior pastor of Philadelphia Evangelical Baptist Church also juggles a number of other duties from being a teacher at a seminary college to being a chaplain at the North Miami jail, as well as being a chaplain at a funeral home.
Philadelphia Evangelical Baptist Church is located at 1000 NW 111th Street in Miami.
By Kaila Heard