Meet Michael Tjapiard

Where are your congregations?
Wilora (Stirling Station); Barrow Creek and Tara (Neutral Junction Station). These communities are about 256km north of Alice Springs.

Tell us about your family.
I have two sons. Both of them are in their 20’s.

What is your favourite AFL team?
Carlton.

Where were you born?
Alice Springs hospital. But I lived at Barrow Creek.

What languages do you speak?
Anmatyerr, Warlpiri, Kaytetye, Alyawarr, Arrarnta and English.

Where did you go to school?
Neutral Junction, about 12km from my community at Barrow Creek. My family used to drive me to school and picked me up after school every day.

When did you become a pastor?
1 October 2000 at Ti Tree.

Who taught you?
Gary Stoll and Paul Albrecht would come to Ti Tree and Wilora to do teaching. Sometimes they would hold mini-courses where they would come to teach a group of us.

Why did you want to become a pastor?
People from my community kept asking me to become a pastor. I also believed that God was calling me, so I become a pastor.

What’s the best thing about being a pastor?
Teaching and reading God’s word to my people and watching their faith grow (and mine too).

What are some jobs you’ve done in the past?
Can’t remember when I started but I used to be a ‘stockman’ at Neutral Junction Station. I spent a lot of time riding horses around the station moving stock from one area to another. When I wasn’t riding horses I used to fix fences and do other jobs around the station.

When I became a pastor I moved to Wilora and have lived here ever since.

What is your favourite Bible verse?
John 14:1-6

What do you pray about?
I pray for my family, my community and myself that people would hear the Word of God and believe in his name.

Have you done anything recently?
I have lived all my life in the North Territory until I went to the SA–NT Pastor’s Conference and Synod in the Riverland in 2017. I was a little nervous about driving all that way and leaving NT, but as soon as I saw new areas and new country I wasn’t nervous anymore. I enjoyed myself and had so much fun and took lots of photos. Everything was good.

Now I’ve been asked to go to the 2018 LCA National Synod in Sydney. I have never been on a plane before so I’m a little nervous about flying. But I’m sure I will be fine and will enjoy visiting Sydney.