History of the Native American Partnership
Paul McGrady has worked with students as a member of the Southern Nazarene University athletics’ staff for the past 32 years. In 2008, he felt compelled to take students to the Navajo reservation and to work with Dr. John Nells, DS of the Southwest Native American District from Dilkon, AR. He took students on trips and to work alongside Native Americans.
In 2010, Pastor Mike Brooks got involved and was working with College Ministries at BFC at that time. Mike and Paul joined up to take students on mission trips and even did sport camps. They served in Leupp, Cameron, Dilkon, and Round Cedar.
In 2013, Barbi Moore, Director of Global Outreach at BFC, was invited to join this leadership team and to be a part of the Native American Partnership.
In January 2014, this leadership team went to the MidYear Conference in Phoenix and was joined with Rev. Rick Harvey, Senior Pastor of BFC, Ed and Lynda Krestel, Work and Witness Coordinators for the Southwest Native American District, Carter and Ellyn Marsh, Celebrate Recovery leaders, Dr. John and Juanita Nells, Paul McGrady, Rev. Mike Brooks, and Barbi Moore. This is the core team that became the Native American Partnership.
The beginning of ministry in Gallup, New Mexico
In 2014, Pastor Mike Brooks was in Gallup, NM, looking for Blue Bird Flour for an outreach ministry in Sanders, AR. Mike had heard there was a Nazarene Church distributing this flour so he came to Gallup First Nazarene Church and arrived just in time to see their church van loaded with men and women coming for a lunch at the church. Pastor Chris Davis was the driver and got out of the van to meet Pastor Mike. Pastor Mike promised to return in June with a team he was leading to Sanders. He brought part of his team and the relationship began with Pastor Chris Davis to serve alongside her ministry to men and women who are homeless.
Pastor Chris Davis
Pastor Chris is tough, witty, compassionate, and broken over the needs she sees in Gallup. Some call her the Mother Teresa of Gallup as she knows the people living on the streets and they know her. Our teams have the privilege of going with her on the streets of Gallup to meet people, give them a free meal, and to invite them to church. In 2018 she was asked to pastor a second church in Milan, NM, called Mt. Taylor Church of the Nazarene.
Native American Pastoral Training Center
When Pastor Rick Harvey first meet Dr. John Nells he heard him talk about the need to equip men and women for ministry on the SW Native American District in Arizona. With the closure of the Indian Bible College in Albuquerque several years ago many on John’s district had lost a clear path to ordination. During an evening service at BFC, Pastor Rick mentioned that we needed to partner with Dr. Nells on a Native American Pastoral Training Center and needed someone qualified to help. Rev. Barbara Jones came forward after the service to recommend a friend, but it turned out, she was the one! She is ordained as a pastor and missionary in the Nazarene Church and teaches classes for ordination on the Oklahoma district. (PIC OF BARBARA JONES TEACHING A CLASS)
Barbara has been our liaison to this Training Center since 2015. She locates qualified people to teach and works on the curriculum for every class. Since October 2018, 11 classes have been provided. If you start from “ground zero,” 25 classes are needed for ordination. Since the beginning of the Training Center, 4 have been ordained and another will be ready after the next class.
There has been around 20 who have attended these classes, but two men have attended every class. Here are their testimonies of how these classes are impacting their lives and those they serve:
“My name is Ron Little and I am pastor of Smoke Signal Church of the Nazarene. I drive 90 miles from my home to attend these classes. The classes have given me a better understanding of what was going on at the time the scriptures were written. Now I can explain to my members in a way that makes it clear to us all.”
“My name is Gilbert Maria. I am very busy with my job as a counselor for the Navajo Nation in New Mexico. However, I think these classes are very important. It is especially helpful to listen to our classmates and know we are not alone in our struggles. The 2.5 hour drive to get to the district center (Dilkon, Arizona) for class is worth it because I go home encouraged.”
APPLICATION FOR GALLUP AND MILAN, NEW MEXICO 2019 TEAM
Please pray about joining our team from June 1-8, 2019, to work with Pastor Chris Davis and her congregations in Gallup and Milan, New Mexico. We will serve with Pastor Chris with her ministry to the homeless and spend time on the Zuni reservation. The team will also finish work on the Gallup parsonage and at the Mt. Taylor Nazarene Church. The team is limited to 25 so apply soon if you want to be a part of this team.
Paper Mission Team Application
Online Mission Team Application