Jimmy Haines has been working faithfully as an evangelist and pastor for the last 25 years. He was ordained on 4 October 1998 at Ti Tree. The following interview was recorded by Pastor Darryl Mattner.
Where is your congregation?
Ti Tree, Pmara Jutunta (also known as 6 mile) and Nturiya. These communities are about 193km north of Alice Springs.
Tell us about your family.
I have a wife, Jenny, and one daughter and two sons. The daughter looks after her grandchildren and both sons work part time in the community.
What is your favourite AFL team?
Essendon and the local footy team the mighty ‘Ti Tree Roosters’.
Where were you born?
In Ti Tree and I’m still here.
What languages do you speak?
Anmatyerr, Warlpiri, Kaytetye, Arrarnta and English.
Tell me about your schooling?
In those days transport was a big issue so I couldn’t go to school. The only schooling I did was at Ali Curung primary school in 1958 and 1959.
Why did you want to become a pastor?
Paul Albrecht and Davey Inkamala came teaching the gospel at Ti Tree. It was through their teaching and meeting them that I thought about becoming a pastor.
What’s the best thing about being a pastor?
Preaching God’s word at baptisms and funerals in the local language of the people.
What are some jobs you’ve done in the past?
I worked at the Ti Tree station from 1964 to 1984 as a ‘ringer’ or a stockman. I liked being on horseback and sleeping out bush. Then the police asked if I wanted to be a police tracker and I said, ‘Sure’, and did that job for 10 years. Then I worked for the Anmatyerr council for 13 years as a general hand.
Favourite Bible verse.
I don’t have a favourite Bible verse but I like the books of Matthew, Mark and the Psalms.
What do you pray about?
I pray that all people would hear the word of God and believe in his name.
Have you done anything recently?
I attended a bush course at Haasts Bluff. Pastor John Kleinig came and did some teaching on the Psalms. I enjoyed the course because the teaching was new and I learnt a lot from it.