Bethel Students Serve in the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma


Bethel University students stop for a picture at a Choctaw Trail of Tears monument during a mission trip to the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.


Several students from Bethel University spent a week serving churches in the Choctaw Presbytery of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church during the last week of June. These churches are located within the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. The Choctaw Nation is an American Indian tribe that is federally recognized by the United States government and consists of ten and a half counties in southeastern Oklahoma.

     From June 25-30, 2013 students participated in light construction projects and outreach events. Construction projects included scraping and repainting Lone Star Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Participants spent 2 days scraping off old paint and applying new paint to the church’s main building and sanctuary. Outreach events included conducting a vacation bible school (VBS) where students led worship with singing and sign language, performed skits, and shared their personal testimonies. Through various outreach and worship techniques, students were able to share the love and hope of Jesus Christ during the VBS. Outreach events also included participating in the 5th Sunday Presbytery Rally hosted by Rock Creek Church and being guest speakers at McGee Chapel during their Sunday morning worship service.

     The trip was made possible by the collaboration of several individuals and local churches. “We want to give a special thanks to the Bethel University Bookstore, Chaplain Anne Hames, Bible Union Baptist Church in Martin, Tenn., and McKenzie First Baptist Church for the things they each did to help us make this trip,” said mission participant Candace Salcido.

     Participants included Jacob Canaday, Kellie Ann Morgan, Victoria Motheral, Candace Salcido, and Joshua Sumner.

     The trip was organized by the Bethel University Missions Program and Betty Jacob, the Presbytery Coordinator for the Choctaw Presbytery. Plans are being made to make this an annual summer mission trip for students.