Despite a degree and decades of study, Jesse Billy describes himself as “just a Rez Preacher.” That title is relatively new. Billy acquired it when he retired 11 years ago.
From working at Shell Oil Company to teaching high school and college in the Navajo Nation, he spent decades in education. Along with science and biology, he also studied “lots of theology” in schools from Tennessee to California and Arizona.
Since retirement, Billy has had time to put his biblical knowledge to work.
“I sensed God was calling me,” he says. “My mom always prayed I would be a preacher. I saw a need on the reservation, and I could do something about it.” Billy says he read the mandate of Mark 16:15, “‘Go ye into all the world.’” His response was, “I need to do this.”
He recently planted First Windmill Baptist Church about 30 miles west of Tuba City in a rural area of scattered homes. He and eight men from First Southern Baptist Church, Tuba City, where he is pastor, are working to evangelize the area. Also, highway improvements have encouraged young people to return to the Navajo Nation, providing even more opportunities for evangelism.
Receiving support from the Cooperative Program was a happy surprise for the father of five.
“I didn’t know Southern Baptists did that,” Billy says. “It came at a perfect time. In the Navajo Nation, 50 miles can easily turn into 150, which means lots of wear and tear on vehicles. If I didn’t have Cooperative Program funding, we wouldn’t be able to make all the visits that we do.”
Jesse Billy is the CP.
Because you and your church give, You are the CP.