North America (MNN) — Two
organizations with a combined 109 years of ministry experience have joined
forces to plant churches among the unreached peoples of the Americas.
A merger between Ameritribes and
Pioneers was finalized in the fall of 2009. Ameritribes' mission to plant churches among
Native peoples without access to the Gospel fits with Pioneers' church-planting
movement. The organizations also share
an emphasis on prayer and partnerships.
"For 30 years, Pioneers has been
all about taking the Gospel to cultures that have been bypassed or forgotten–wherever
they might be found," said Steve Richards, president of Pioneers. "The ministry of Ameritribes represents a significant
cluster of such groups. We are eager to
roll up our sleeves together, trusting God for a new wave of workers and fresh
new strategies. I am praying for a significant
harvest, right here in the Americas!"
Ameritribes came into being as
the Navajo Indian Evangelization Movement in 1930, under the leadership of
Berlyn and Edith Stokely. It became the
Navajo Gospel Mission when it incorporated in 1944 and took the name
Ameritribes 50 years later. The newest
name reflects the organization's ministry to multiple tribes in the
southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico.
"While the name under which we
minister will change, the heart and soul of what we do will not," said Tim
Brown, former director of Ameritribes and Pioneers area leader for
Mid-Americas. "This is a purposeful
change that we believe will open doors to advance the Gospel in more Native
Pioneers was co-founded in 1979
by Ted Fletcher, former national sales manager for The Wall Street Journal. With
1,800 members serving on 188 teams in 84 countries, Pioneers mobilizes teams to
glorify God among unreached peoples by initiating church-planting movements in
partnership with local churches.