Bishop Joseph Noncent, more affectionately known as “Pas”, began the journey to his calling in La Colline D’Aquin, Haiti. As a youngster, and one of three children born to his parents, he fought through many trials and tribulations, including childhood illnesses. The Lord truly had a purpose for his life, as he was blessed to conquer all challenges, and to enter into ministry in 1984 at the age of 43. At that time, Bishop was a young father of 3, David Terry, Sofia Maria and Jerry Lord, a devoted husband of Marie Virginia, and an enthusiastic Assistant Pastor at Friendship Baptist Church, under the leadership of the late Reverend Sanders. Through prayer, a short time later, Bishop was blessed with the opportunity to establish a Haitian church in the Trenton community, and became the new shepherd to a modest congregation of less that 10 individuals. Sunday services were held in his family living room, as the struggling group was unable to afford to rent a worship area. Bishop’s hard work, tenacity and faith paid off, when he and the members purchased their first house of worship, located at 331 Bellevue Avenue, in Trenton, New Jersey. The congregation grew in size, as did the hardships.
One thing about Bishop is for sure, he is a determined visionary. Although he spent many nights agonizing over church matters, he never lost faith in God. His journey can arguably be compared to that of Job, as he has experienced many major losses along the way, including two sons, and his wife of 42 years. While many others would lose conviction, and allow themselves to be overtaken by grief and dismay, Bishop used these life experiences to strengthen his commitment to the ministry and to encourage those in need of moral support.
Several years had gone by, and as the church was flourishing, God put it on Bishop’s heart to begin planning for a move. Characteristically, Bishop presented his vision to the congregation, and went into prayer and fasting. The Lord answered his prayers when The First Haitian Church of God moved to its existing location, 1501 Greenwood Avenue in Trenton, New Jersey. Since that time, the church has grown by leaps and bounds, and it is only by the grace and mercy of The Most High God, that the church can boast an astounding 600 members to date.
Bishop is the epitome of kindness, and anyone that has had the pleasure of crossing his path, would agree. He is a role model to many, young and old, alike. In 2012, Bishop remarried after the untimely death of his dear wife. This union to Ifotha Innocent has been a blessing, not only for him and his family, but for the church as a whole.