Dr. Casey Church is a Pokagon Band Potawatomi member from southwest Michigan. His Potawatomi name is Ankwawango, which means, “Hole in the Clouds.” He is the Director of Wiconi, a contextual Indigenous ministry founded by the late Dr. Richard Twiss. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Anthropology, a Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies, and a Doctor of Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.
His wife Lora has a double Masters degree in Public Administration and Health Education from the University of New Mexico. She is the Director of the Indian Area Agency of Aging, with the State of New Mexico’s Aging and Long-Term Services. Casey, his wife Lora, lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They have four daughters and one son.
Casey’s journey led him to study traditional spiritual teachings under his Anishinaabe elders. He investigated culturally-appropriate (contextual) approaches to Native evangelism and ministry at Fuller Theological Seminary. Casey and Lora pastored a Native church plant in Grand Rapids, Michigan, from 1996 to 2000. Their church was one of the first Native American contextualized congregations in the country. Casey is a United Methodist member and has served as a consultant and interim staff member for the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church’s Office of Native American and Indigenous Ministries.
Casey is a board member for NAIITS: An Indigenous Learning Community. He is a contributing writer for its academic journal, and workshop presenter at its symposiums. Currently he is adjunct instructor at Portland Seminary in Newburg, Oregon teaching classes in “Native American Spirituality and Spiritual Formation”. He has recently had two books published, titled: “Holy Smoke: the contextual use of Native American ritual and ceremony” and Native American Contextual Ministry: Making the Transition”.