Daily Prayer: a resource of Forward Movement

The Liturgical Calendar: The Church Remembers

Today the church remembers David Pendleton Oakerhater, Deacon and Missionary, 1931.

Oakerhater was an honored Cheyenne warrior who fought in the conflicts with white Americans in the late nineteenth century. While a prisoner of war in St. Augustine, Florida, he was converted to Christ. Released, he was baptized, taking the name David Pendleton, and studied for holy orders in the Diocese of Central New York. In 1881 he was ordained deacon and returned to his tribe in the Indian Territory, accompanied by his mentor, the Rev. John Wicks.

Oakerhater addressed his former comrades-in-arms, “…You remember when I led you out to war I went first and what I told you was true. Now, I have been away to the East and I have learned about another captain, the Lord Jesus Christ, and He is my Leader. He goes first, and all He tells me is true. I come back to my people to tell you to go with me now on this new road, into a war that makes peace…”

Wicks retired in 1884 because of ill health, but Oakerhater continued, winning hundreds to Christ. His people called him “God"s Warrior” and “Peace Chief.” He established the Whirlwind School near Fay, Oklahoma, a landmark in the education of the Cheyenne. For nearly half a century David Pendleton Oakerhater was a tower of strength and a symbol of the new faith to his Native American brethren.

Help us to obey and serve you, Jesus Christ our captain. Amen.

Read the Wikipedia article here.

O God of unsearchable wisdom and mercy, you chose a captive warrior, David Oakerhater, to be your servant, and sent him to be a missionary to his own people, and to execute the office of deacon among them: Liberate us, who commemorate him today, from bondage to self, and empower us for service to you and to the neighbors you have given us; through Jesus Christ, the captain of our salvation; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.

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