Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


William Crawley


DMin, Worship, Haitian, Expressive, Praise, SDA


Christianity | Liturgy and Worship | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


Many Haitian Seventh-day Adventist members are not pleased with the Haitian Seventh-day Adventist Church’s lack of expressive worship. According to research, Haitian church members are unable to freely express themselves in corporate worship due to rationalistic, as oppose to kinesthetic worship practices. During worship services, Haitian Seventh-day Adventist members, young and old, are afraid to have an authentic demonstrative worship experience because of “soma phobia,” the fear of letting themselves or their bodies get out of control. Because of a traditional European cultural ethos that still exists, there is a fear that others may look upon them as ungodly. When analyzing the Haitian Seventh-day Adventist Church’s leadership and worship liturgy, it is evident that the church is out of tune with the Haitian culture, which originates from its African roots. In most Haitian Seventh-day Adventist churches, the worship services consist of talking during Sabbath school and conducting other activities. Instead of worshiping God during the three-hour worship service by singing, praying, reading Scripture and preaching, leaders spend more time talking during announcements and addressing irrelevant issues. It is important to note that there is a preconceived idea that people are going to church to receive something from the Lord. However, we do not go to church to receive but to give worship. Worship leaders and pastors must teach the church members to freely and expressively worship the Lord, who is worthy of all worship and praise.