Evangelist Fernande Valme was born Fernande Felix on the 23rd of July, 1924, in Leogane Haiti, a small village outside the nation’s capital, Port-au-Prince. Her parents were Julia Sylvain and Sermonbien Felix, both farmers who lived under very modest conditions. She was raised by her mother who was a devoted member of the Episcopal Church in her Village. At the age of seven, her mother moved to Port-au-Prince, leaving her with her aunt in Cormier, Leogane a community in the same village. She later joined her mother in Port-au-Prince, where she attended elementary school at the Methodist Wesleyan Church. Sadly, due to her mother’s financial and health problems, Evangelist Fernande Valme was unable to continue her education but her faith grew even stronger. As a teenager, she was committed to her church and began to volunteer around her community. This exposed her to the medical field, where she learned basic wound care. As a young missionary, she traveled with her Church Group on various church missions to comfort the sick with prayers and to give Holy Communion.
At the age of twenty, she met and married Hyppolite Valme. They had seven children, Mireille, Suze, Myrlande, Gerald, Yonel, Rode and Ketty. In 1957, her husband abandoned her after 11 years of marriage, leaving her to raise their children alone. She however held on to her strong faith and persevered as a single parent. Her children, among them a Doctor, Engineer, nurses, all grew up to be successful in their various fields.
Evangelist Valme was very passionate about praise and worship. She managed the choir of the First Baptist Church of Port-au-Prince where she served for 29 years. Her love for helping people and spreading the word of God, led her to open her home to host weekly prayer sessions with all those seeking salvation and spiritual guidance. This quickly became a worship center for her community.
In 1971 Evangelist Fernande Valme immigrated to New York, but her heart never left Haiti, she had always known she would return home to the country she loved so dearly. She hated the sufferings of her people and the extreme poverty that they faced. Evangelist Valme remained deeply concerned about the state of her beloved country and prayed that she could one day bring about change.
While in New York, she continued her mission, bringing people from all walks of life together in worship and just like she did in Haiti, She began hosting prayer meetings at her home. She quickly found her space which expanded into the facility at 1120 Flatbush Avenue, providing a peaceful place for people to congregate for praise and worship. Evangelist Valme organized events to bring about a sense of community, spreading love and spreading the word of God while helping people in need. Her focus was always on others, dedicating her time to pray with the needy, giving hope and giving courage.
In 1984 Evangelist Fernande Valme returned to Haiti to lay the first brick on a large multi service facility that stands today Housing a Medical Clinic, Worship Center and School for over 2000 children. Evangelist Valme was focused on guiding the youths. Although she had limited education, she was blessed with wisdom and foresight, she knew that equipping youths, who eventually grow up to be leaders, and with sound education was the right step in improving the conditions of her people. She established that a worship center where people could congregate for prayers was also vital to achieving everything she had always hoped for her country.
The humanitarian efforts of FVM has helped many people all over the world for many decades. Evangelist Fernande Valme has been recognized for her contributions with various awards, her strong faith, integrity, love and care for people will always be remembered. Her children, grand children and great grandchildren are all compelled by the same sense of love and compassion to keep her dream alive.