Pastor Trevor Tjampitjinpa Raggett passed away at his outstation near Haasts Bluff (227 km west of Alice Springs) on 26 November 2020, a few weeks shy of his 66th birthday. He was the son of Pastor Obed Raggett, a much-loved and respected former pastor at Papunya.
He was ordained on 14 November 2004 at Haasts Bluff Lutheran Church and served at Haasts Bluff/Ikuntji – the community where he was born and raised. He had fond memories of growing up in the late 1950s and 60s. He later looked back on those years as an idyllic time in his life.
In fact, his cheerful, engaging personality in those years captured the attention of a white storyteller. In the 1960s a publisher produced a children’s book which featured photographs of young Trevor as the central character in the story. It was titled Ngari the Hunter. It seems to have been a book widely read by children throughout Australia.
As he grew older he had problems in his life. But God convicted him of the sins of drunkenness and of ignoring the gospel. Miraculously, he was completely turned off drinking alcohol at that time.
After this he worked as an evangelist alongside Pastor Gregory Tjupurrula. He was then trained by Finke River Mission fieldworkers Pastor Norm Wurst and Paul Traeger.
In his pastoral style, he followed in the footsteps of his father Obed, whose name means ‘servant’. So Trevor, too, was servant-like. He had an unusual capacity to anticipate people’s needs and concerns. His love for God’s people was probably even evidenced in the timing of his death. Although he must have sensed that his time was near, he waited four days after seeing Stanley Roberts ordained to depart this life.
In his later years he succumbed to weakness, and then sickness, but not self-pity. He was ably helped by the timely arrival of Pastor Simon Dixon at Haasts Bluff.
Pastor Trevor did not have a wife or children. But his siblings were very close to him. They supported him in his final months, and arranged a well-attended funeral for him at Haasts Bluff on 17 December 2020.
Pastor Paul Traeger is the FRM Support Worker for the Pintupi–Luritja language area.