AG Missionaries Changing Lives, Equipping Native Americans in the Gospel

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James Lasher

Native American men and women mentored by U.S. missionaries, John and Gay Davis, are stepping into ministry roles, driven by their passion for sharing the gospel.

One remarkable story involves Samuel*, a Lakota Native American who attended Gay’s gospel course. Recognizing the receptiveness of his people, Samuel eagerly absorbed the teachings and committed to reteaching the lessons to his Bible study group. His words to Gay, “My people need what you have but they will not listen to you. But they will listen to me,” encapsulate the powerful impact of Native American leaders within their communities.

Davis affirms, “We are in a spiritually vibrant location. The church is alive, and revival is happening.”

However, Native American Christ-followers remain a minority, with only a handful pursuing ministry.

Since 2013, the Davises have dedicated themselves to Lumbee River Christian College in North Carolina. The college plays a vital role in providing education to local Native Americans, offering programs in Christian education, pastoral ministry and missions ministry.

The Davises contribute to this mission by teaching various ministerial training courses and conducting seminars at neighboring churches. Beyond academics, they invest in students’ lives, with John serving as the vice president of Student Life and Gay overseeing the school’s cafeteria while directing the Assessment department.

John explains the unique journey of Native American students, saying, “They come to God around age 30 after the Lord delivers them. Then, around age 40, they feel God’s calling and join the college. Our hope is to raise up Native American men and women who will continue this work when we retire.”

Sakoneseriiosta Brent Maracle, chief of Native American Fellowship, Assemblies of God, emphasizes the need for discipleship once Native Americans realize that embracing Jesus doesn’t require forsaking their cultural identity. He states, “Each person needs to navigate the Word of God to find what is pleasing and holy to Jesus and what activities are no longer necessary because He gives us all we need for life and godliness.”

The Davises diligently teach their students the importance of comprehending Scripture and extracting truth rather than solely relying on sermons.

In a poignant incident, during a revival service, Danny*, a student rescued from a life of violence and addiction, became distressed after hearing that reading anything other than the original King James Bible meant he couldn’t be a Christian. Seeking guidance, he approached Gay the following morning, anxious about his salvation.

Gay transformed her English class into a lesson on Bible translation, providing Danny with multiple translations from the school’s resources. She asked him, “Do you think we would give you these Bibles if they would prevent you from being a Christian?” Danny, relieved, shook his head and acknowledged that those translations wouldn’t hinder his faith. Now actively involved in ministry, Danny speaks at various churches, utilizing different Bible versions to reach his audiences.

Despite challenges, the Holy Spirit’s work is evident in the Davis’ ministry. John affirms the presence of healings, prophecies, salvations and miracles. Yet, with the majority of Native Americans having limited exposure to Christianity, the task remains unfinished. John asserts, “They need all the training they can get. That is why we are here, doing our best to meet that need.”

*The names in this story were changed to protect the person’s privacy.

James Lasher is Staff Writer for Charisma Media.

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