This week we’ll be sharing excerpts of interviews with two Native American Mennonite women: Louise Fisher and Priscilla Wero. They are drawn from longer oral history interviews conducted in 2002 as part of the Mennonite Women of Color Oral History Project. The project was designed and implemented by Patricia Lehman, professor of communication at Goshen College, and Linda Christophel, a social worker and oral historian. Its aim was “to gather and publish faith and life stories of older women of color across the Mennonite Church in North America and worldwide.” Together, Lehman and Christophel interviewed over 40 women from North America, Africa, Asia, Central America, and South America. The original recordings are available at the Mennonite Church USA Archives.
Priscilla Wero (Navajo) was born January 18, 1946 in Farmington, New Mexico. As a child, she attended the Intermountain Indian School in Brigham City, Utah. She became a Christian on September 4, 1981. Together with her husband George Wero, who served as pastor, Priscilla was an active member of Light of Life Mennonite Church in Farmington. She also connected to the broader church through United Native Ministries. She is a gifted ceramic artist and one of her pieces is on display at the Mennonite Church USA building in Elkhart, Indiana. In this excerpt Priscilla tells the story of her struggle with alcoholism and her conversion to Christianity in 1981. The full-length interview is available online at this link.