By: Kendra Housel
Reverend Larry Salway and Reverend Dale Salway are husband-wife co-pastors at He Sapa New Life, where Larry serves as Teaching Pastor and Dale as the congregation’s Executive Pastor. This church is the main campus for the He Sapa New Life Native Ministries network and is located in Rapid City, South Dakota.
The other church sites that are a result of the He Sapa church planting initiative are located in Pierre, South Dakota and on the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe reservations. Apart of the ministerial network is a series of native home churches across 11 states; this ministry is sustained by a DVD ministry that allows native people from over 50 zip codes to connect to each other and to the Lord.
Larry was raised in central South Dakota as a member of the Lakota tribe, and Dale likewise celebrates her Mohawk roots. She was raised in the northern part of New York. They have been committed to Native American ministry for the entirety of their lives. Though they spent many years functioning as bi-vocational, they are currently both in full-time ministry. Together they have worked to plant churches in South Dakota, Arizona and New Mexico.
Eleven years ago, the Salways returned to South Dakota to focus on Wesleyan native ministry. The Salways call He Sapa New Life a “church without walls.” Their church body consists of those who attend weekly service and those whom they interact with through weekly outreach programs. These events include Kids Club, Sports Camps, Community Carnival, School Supplies Distribution and Christmas Celebration.
Larry attended Brainerd Indian School and the University of South Dakota, where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. He then went on to Arizona State University and got his masters in Social Work. He also has license to practice Clinical Social Work and Independent Addictions Counseling. Dale earned her Bachelor of Arts in Ministry from Hobe Sound Bible College and has an AA in Nursing from State University of New York in Syracuse.
Dale is currently finishing up her Masters of Arts in Ministry Leadership at Indiana Wesleyan University’s Wesley Seminary. She plans to graduate May of 2018. The Salways feel that Dale’s time at Wesley Seminary has helped to expand their perspective and “clarify [their] vision to reach multi-ethnic, marginalized and disenfranchised people groups in [their] area.”
Dr. Eby and Dr. Whitesel have been particularly influential as they have grown in their understanding of the effectiveness of Native ministry, while also learning about ways to reach other ethnic cultures who are starting to move into the area. They have said that they have “greatly enjoyed and benefited from each course and professor at Wesley Seminary.” They appreciate the evident and genuine care that each professor has for the students and ministries they are affecting; the material of each class has been applicable and broadening.
As He Sapa New Life has expanded and become a multi-ethnic church, the Salways sent their son Eric to IWU where he is a current freshman Christian Ministries major. They are excited for all he is gleaning from his time at school, but he is greatly missed in South Dakota as he is an integral member of the leadership in youth ministry, technology, DVD ministry and volunteer coordination. They said that “it has been our greatest challenge to release him to prepare academically for the ministry, and [we] anxiously wait for his return.”
The Salways claim Matthew 28:18 as their life verse: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations . . . I am with you always to the end of the age” (ESV). In this specific season of life, they have found themselves clinging to verses three and nine from the first chapter of Joshua: “Every place that the soul of your foot will tread upon I have given you, just as I have promised to Moses . . . Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. ” (ESV).
The advice they had to share with current IWU students is to “study hard, pray hard, walk close to God and enjoy the IWU experience for there is no better educational and spiritual formation opportunity than IWU!”
Written by Kendra Housel, a writer for the Alumni Center. Kendra is a sophomore Education and Honors Humanities double major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. She is also a member of the University Chorale. She is passionate about serving Christ through writing, singing and caring for others.