Nearly 200 people attended the ordination service for Jeffrey Wheeler at Mount Liebig, 325 kilometres west of Alice Springs, recently. People came from several communities, including Hermannsburg. Among them was Jeffrey’s uncle, Pastor Marcus Wheeler.
Pastor Graham Poulson from Papunya formally presented Jeffrey for ordination. LCA Bishop John Henderson led the ordination rite.
Pastor Jeffrey is one of the younger generation of Pintupi–Luritja pastors. Like Pastor John West, he is not yet 40. He was confirmed at Yirara College at Alice Springs in the 1990s, and married Veronica Peterson a few years later. They have four children.
Having worked for the Mt Liebig/Amunturrngu Council for many years, Pastor Jeffrey trained for the ministry according to the Finke River Mission curriculum and attended teaching courses for approximately six years.
After the service there was a great outpouring of emotion. Some people spoke, with tears of joy and relief, of how they had been waiting for this day for a long time.
Pastor Paul Traeger is the Ministry Support Worker for the Pintupi–Luritja Language Area.