Morgan Redday - Personal Testimony

Morgan Redday, Dakota Sioux

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That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  Romans 10:9

My name is Morgan L Redday, Sr., and I am a Native American pastor. I grew up on the Sisseton Wahpeton Lake Traverse Reservation; 7 miles south of Sisseton and a half mile west of Agency Village. We had a home with no running water or electricity. I know the hardships of living on the Rez. I have four brothers and two sisters. When I was two years old, my mother passed away and our father remarried. We were put in the orphanage for a while till our grandmother and our aunt took us to live with them. I know this was God’s plan from the beginning as our grandmother and aunt were very strong Christian women. They took us to the Goodwill Church every Sunday and whenever there was Vacation Bible School in the summer, we were there. Our schooling was at the Old Agency Day School and later we all went to the Sisseton Public School Our grandmother and aunt wanted us to have the best education, this is what they prayed for, but when we moved to Sisseton, they knew that living in town was going to be trouble for us. In Sisseton, there were all kinds of trouble to get into such as stealing, fighting, and a whole lot more. We were always taken to the Goodwill Church on sundays and also on the days when church activities were scheduled.

When we lived in the country, we would walk to church in the summer as we didn’t live very far from Goodwill and in the winter months, we would go in the car. There was no missing church service for us. When we got snowed in and couldn’t go, we had our own church service in my grandmother’s house. We sang the hymns and prayed together. Scriptures were read to us. I still remember my aunt reading Bible stories to us by a kerosene lamp. One story that sticks in my mind is the one about a shepherd boy who killed a giant and became a king and ruled Israel. Another was Solomon the wise and many more stories that I will always remember. We had the time to listen as we had no electricity.

I started high school, but after a time, I decided to drop out of school. I was looking for something different. That part of my life didn’t go anywhere; so I joined the Job Corps. I spent two years there and was able to learn a trade. This was also God’s plan. The young men were about 16 to 20 years old, and I could tell they were also looking for something to do with their lives. It didn’t make any difference where they came from or what race of people they were, we learned to work together. I could tell some came from a good religious background. When my two years were up, I returned to the Rez. Then I decided to enlist in the U.S. Army. This was also God’s plan. I was sent to Vietnam and the young men there were also 18 - 20 years old. Vietnam is a very dangerous place to be, but God watched over me. My family constantly prayed for my safe return and God protected me.

When I returned to the Rez, I met and married Darlene. This was also God’s plan for me. One more time I had to leave the Rez and this time I was assigned to West Germany. This was my last duty station of time to spend in the U.S. Army. Again, God worked things out for me. My wife, Darlene, soon joined me and we were together in Germany for 15 months. We traveled to places like Holland and France, and all over Germany. We saw Notre Dame and other beautiful churches. God showed us He was everywhere. At the time, Darlene was a member of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church and I was a member of Goodwill Presbyterian Church.

When we returned home to Sisseton, I was introduced to the Native American traditional religion. I built my own place of worship and attended sweats. I learned everything the Native religion had to teach, but I was still searching for something very spiritual. I reached out to God and asked Him to show me what He wanted me to do and God answered me. We were invited to services at Bethany Baptist Church. This is where I understood that Jesus Christ died for me on Calvary’s cross, how He shed His precious blood and the pain He went through for me. I finally found what I was looking for and on November 3, 1991, I became a licensed minister. After I was ordained, I became the pastor of Bethany Baptist Church and was there for over 15 years. I am now assistant pastor to Pastor Milton Owen at First Baptist Church in Sisseton.

If we have faith, trust God, and believe that God sent His only Son and accept Jesus in our heart, we are forgiven of all sins (Rom 10:9-10); and the Holy Spirit will teach us all things and one day we too, will go to heaven. Darlene and I have a son who went home to be with the Lord and he is waiting for us. Our other three sons, Chris, Nick, and Mike and a granddaughter, Sonni, have all been baptized and are waiting for the great day. I give God praise and glory for the experiences in my life in the search to find what I needed all along.

Morgan Redday, Dakota Sioux


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