End of an Era: Community Says Farewell to Fargo Pastor
Pastor Mytch Dorvilier is set to receive a new assignment to another synod
FARGO, N.D. — When it comes to helping others, the impact of kindness can stretch beyond geographical boundaries.
Growing up in Haiti, Mytch Dorvilier knew from a young age her life’s work would be centered on helping others.
“I went out and I helped the government do vaccinations for the kids and also with literacy programs for young girls and adults, and to me it’s just something I grew up with,” Dorvilier said.
Her passion for making human connections while teaching Lutheran values brought her to the United States, where she made her mark on parishes in California, Florida, New York, Illinois and North Dakota.
Wherever she went, Pastor Mytch never lost sight of her mission.
“To me, it’s a human connection, so I look for what we had in common. The first thing we have in common is that we are human beings and we breathe. We all breathe. So this is what I look for. If we can breathe together, then so why not be together? That’s my thing,” said Dorvilier.
Her ability to mark her mark no matter where she goes inspires others, including her son, Scott.
“Seeing my mom in this position, I get to see her for who she truly is as the amazing woman that she is and what she’s capable of, and it’s like getting to know her all over again,” Scott said.
Seeing how Mytch was able to connect various groups with the faith, the Eastern North Dakota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America knew whom they wanted to usher in a new era for their community.
“We wanted our congregation to reflect what our communities look like, so we called Mytch with all of this experience and passion to come and help engage our congregation so we might step forward and move to become more multicultural,” said Bishop Terry Brandt of the Eastern North Dakota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.
Even though she initially was wary of the cold temperatures, she realized the kindness of North Dakotans warmed her faith.
“Oh my gosh, this is Heaven, this is what Heaven looks like, where we are all different, but similar. Out of all the places that I’ve lived in the United States, Fargo–Moorhead is the most friendly of places I have ever lived,” Dorvilier said.
Throughout her three decades of service, Pastor Mytch has learned how to speak seven different languages which has helped her develop a closer connection with members of her church community.
Her presence as a pastor gives others a chance to be involved.
“As a mother of biracial children, to see a woman in ministry who is of a different race has really opened the door for them to say, ‘huh, there’s possibilities for me too in the church,” said Nichole Johnson, the Pastor for Maple Sheyenne Lutheran Church in Harwood.
When Pastor Mytch first came to the church, she knew she would only be there for three years.
As she turns to the next chapter, her community won’t let her work fade in vain.
“We knew what she was building was going to be something that was going to last beyond the position itself, and Mytch has done that. She has built a team and she has equipped us to continue the work that she’s started, so we’re not backing away to our commitment and our work to be more of a multi–ethnic denomination,” Bishop Brandt said.
No matter where she ends up, the people she touched with her faith will carry her lessons of compassion and understanding in their hearts and souls.
Dorvilier is unsure where her assignment will take her, but she did receive a personalized cross from the church to carry with her as she moves on.