Native American Pastor Embraces Culture to Lead Others to Christ

A teaching circle at Montana Indian Ministries. Source: Baptist Press

Pastor Bruce Plummer of Frybread Fellowship on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservations has acquired a reputation for using service and missions as a way of helping others see Christ.

A Native American of Sioux, Assiniboine, and Cree heritage, Plummer invites mission teams to serve with Montana Indian Ministries where they learn about American Indian culture, provide camps for children and youth, and participate in construction and cleanup projections.

“I just believe serving people first is so critical when you want to share the Gospel with them,” Plummer said. “You can tell people all day long you love them but until you show them, they’re not going to hear you. It’s a core belief I have.”

Also, Plummer is active in local mentoring programs that train men how to lead their families and cultivate healthy relationships with their children through the Fatherhood is Sacred ministry. During the summer when school is out, films are shown on Friday evenings as an alternative to youth becoming engaged in illicit activities.

Executive director of the Montana Southern Baptist Convention, Barrett Duke, expressed gratitude for Plummer’s ministry on the reservation, saying, “the needs are tremendous and the challenges, daunting.”

Plummer accepted Christ at the age twenty-one. Growing up, Plummer had been taught that interactions with missionaries would cause him to lose his identity as an American Indian similar to the children who were “sent off” and “civilized” in boarding schools during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Realizing that God loved all people and accepted him for who he was, Plummer celebrates his Native American heritage and finds meaning in his faith that affirms his identity.

Often found wearing Native attire, preparing Native meals, singing Native songs, playing Native drums, participating in Native sweat lodges and powwows, Plummer informs fellow members of his community that it’s okay to be the person God created you to be and be Christian.

In the last fifteen years under Plummer’s leadership, the Montana Indian Ministries have helped evangelize more than 2,400 people.

Plummer said, “We have several young men and women who have felt called to serve in the ministry—many now are in college and serving in various ways with their home churches. Those who have grown up on the reservation and are answering the call have overcome incredible odds and are genuine miracles in the making.”

Those “incredible odds” include: a chronic hopelessness stemming from sustained high levels of unemployment, inadequate access to healthcare, and high levels of poverty that contribute to abuse, addictions, and loss of pride, often found on the reservations.

However, Plummer believes it’s his calling to help communities remember there is always hope. United under the motto, “One Earth, One People, One God,” Montana Indian Ministries and Plummer continue to share the gospel on seven American Indian reservations throughout the state and cultivate partnerships that showcase the love of Christ.

Source: Baptist Press