Apache Mission

The Apache Mission celebrated 125 years of God’s blessings in 2018 as the first world mission of WELS. The Apache Mission is located in eastern Arizona on the Fort Apache Reservation and the San Carlos Apache Reservation. Between the two reservations there are eight churches, one preaching station, and two Lutheran elementary schools. The Apache Lutheran churches are currently training future leaders for work as evangelists, teachers, and pastors through the Apache Christian Training School (ACTS) located at the East Fork Mission. Learn more about WELS mission history on the Apache reservations.

Apache congregations: Congregations at East Fork, Canyon Day, Cibecue, McNary, and Whiteriver on the Fort Apache Reservation to the North continue to be served by one WELS missionary, two native pastors, and one native evangelist. The ACTS Director also resides in East Fork. San Carlos, Peridot, and Bylas congregations on the San Carlos Reservation to the South continue to be served by two WELS missionaries. The Native American Mission field coordinator also resides in Peridot. Each location continues to focus on building Christian leaders for the future long-term stability of the church.

Apache schools: East Fork Lutheran and Peridot-Our Savior’s Lutheran schools both have dedicated staffs of teachers who are sharing God’s Word. There are approximately 145 students on the Fort Apache reservation attending East Fork Lutheran School (K-8) and approximately 130 students living on the San Carlos Apache Reservation attending Peridot-Our Savior’s Lutheran School (K-8). The number of children our schools are serving continues to rise due to the higher academic,well-rounded curriculum, and the Christian education we offer. Our WELS schools are now affordable to more families due to the State of Arizona instituting a voucher system allowing children to attend private schools.

Apache Christian Training School (ACTS): The school currently has about 60 students enrolled.

Fast Facts

  • Baptized members: 3,600
  • Organized congregations: 8
  • Preaching stations: 1
  • Missionaries: 5
  • Teachers: 17 (4 Apache)
  • National pastors: 2
  • Evangelists: 1
  • Apache Christian Training School students: 60

Support Native American missions. Your gift will support theological education through the Apache Christian Training School, outreach to new Native American tribes, property repairs and renovations, and general school and ministry expenses. Select “Native American Missions Special Projects” (for a more general gift) or a specific ministry you’d like to support from the drop-down menu.

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Praying for Apache Ministry

Please pray for the students of the Apache Christian Training School; for the new youth ministry; and for Apache Christian families, that they stand firm in the face of increasing attacks from those mired in the darkness of traditional religion.