In 1999, after 53 years of faithful Christian ministry, Flagstaff Indian Bible College conferred upon Paul Redhouse an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree. Redhouse died Sept. 5.
Born in Teec Nos Pos, Ariz., Redhouse was introduced to the gospel of Christ during his early education at boarding school. He also received instruction in Navajo traditional teachings from his father, who was a medicine man and expected his son to follow those teachings. In 1944, while serving with the U.S. Navy during WWII, Redhouse accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior.
Returning home, he began interpreting for a missionary who recognized his gifts for ministry. After graduating from Reformed Bible Institute in Grand Rapids, Mich., in 1953, Redhouse did volunteer ministry at Red Valley (Ariz.) CRC. He also had oversight of the Toadlena and Sanostee Missions.
In 1963, Redhouse was examined, recognized as a minister of the Word, and ordained in the CRC. He continued serving Red Valley CRC. He then became a longtime pastor at Four Corners CRC in Teec Nos Pos. “My dad did not believe in ‘retiring’ from the ministry,” said son Herman.
Redhouse served on numerous boards and committees, spoke at many camp meetings and Bible conferences, and officiated at countless weddings and funerals. He preached across Navajo land through radio broadcasts. He led the board of trustees of the New Navajo Hymnal Conference Inc., which compiled and published the first edition of the Navajo songbook. It took seven years to translate over 50 songs. As a result, Navajo Christians in Christian Reformed churches can praise God in their own language. He also spearheaded the formation of Classis Red Mesa (a regional group of Christian Reformed churches and missions in Northwest New Mexico and Northeast Arizona) in 1982.
Redhouse is survived by Edith, his wife of 72 years; five sons; two daughters, 20 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.