David Pendelton Oakerhater, September 1

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The David Pendelton Oakerhater Window
Crafted by Willet Stained Glass for St George's Episcopal Church, Dayton, Ohio

(from Liturgy and Music Online) David Pendelton Oakerhater is the only American Indian listed in the Episcopal calendar of the church year. He was born between 1844 and 1851 on a Cheyenne reservation in Western Oklahoma. Oakerhater, whose name means "Making Medicine," was imprisoned in Florida for his alleged role in the Battle of Adobe Walls in 1874. He was befriended by Ohio Senator George Pendleton and his wife, who arranged for his education in Syracuse, New York. Oakerhater was ordained deacon on June 7, 1881, and spent the rest of his life as a missionary to the Cheyenne Nation of Oklahoma. Oakerhater is commemorated in the Episcopal calendar of the church year on Sept. 1.

St. George's Episcopal Church in Dayton Ohio has 48 stained glass windows installed throughout the church. A virtual tour is available online. The St George's stained glass window collection is arranged by section of the church, with different themes illustrated in the chancel, narthex and nave of the church.

Information on Oakerhater is provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.

As seen in: Saints & Family, a collaborative exhibition between the Communications Department of the Episcopal Church and Episcopal Church & Visual Arts.

Comments (1)

I believe that Enmegahbowh (June 12) is also on the LFF Calendar.

June 12: Enmegahbowh, Priest and Missionary
This feast has now become part of the National Church’s kalendar but is included here as Enmegahbowh’s feast has been promoted in this Diocese for many years.

Collect I: Almighty God, thou didst led thy pilgrim people of old with fire and cloud; grant that the ministers of thy Church, following the example of blessed Enmegahbowh, may stand before thy holy people leading them with fiery zeal and gentle humility. This we ask through Jesus, the Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever. Amen.

Collect II: Almighty God, you led your pilgrim people of old with fire and cloud; grant that the ministers of your Church, following the example of blessed Enmegahbowh, may stand before your holy people leading them with fiery zeal and gentle humility. This we ask through Jesus, the Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever. Amen.

Propers
Isaiah 52:7-10
Psalm 129
I Peter 5:1-4
Luke 6:17-23
Preface of a Saint III

The Rev. John Johnson Enmegahbowh, an Odawa (Ottawa) Indian from Canada, was raised in the Midewiwin traditional healing way of his grandfather and the Christian religion of his mother. He came into the United States as a Methodist missionary in 1832. While working among the Ojibwa at Gull Lake he met and married Biwabikogeshigequay (Iron Sky Woman) who took the name of Charlotte at her baptism.

At one point Enmegahbowh attempted to abandon missionary work and return to Canada but the boat was turned back by storms on Lake Superior, providing him a vision: "Here Mr. Jonah came before me and said: ‘Ah my friend Enmegahbowh, I know you. You are a fugitive. You have sinned and disobeyed God. Instead of going to the city of Nineveh, where God sent you to spread His word to the people, you started to go, and then turned aside. You are now on your way to the city of Tarshish...’."

Enmegahbowh decided to stay and work among his wife's people. He invited The Rev. James Lloyd Breck to Gull Lake where together they founded St. Columba's mission in 1852. The mission was later moved to White Earth, where Enmegahbowh served until his death.

Unwelcome for a time among some Ojibwa groups because he warned the community at Fort Ripley about the 1862 uprising, Enmegahbowh was consistent as a man of peace, inspiring the Waubanaquot (Chief White Cloud) mission which obtained a lasting peace between the Ojibwa and Dakota peoples.

Rev. John E. Robertson

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