Millard Maynard, a pioneer in Indian ministry, has gone home to be with the Lord. Maynard passed away on Sept. 5.
Born on Nov. 11, 1925, Maynard was ordained as a minister in the Church of God in 1946. He was later ordained as a bishop in 1954. He retired from pastoring Saddletree Church of God in Lumberton, N.C., some years ago, but remained a mentor to many in the area—including singer and pastor Judy Jacobs.
“Dr. Maynard was my very first pastor growing up as a little girl. My mom and dad had 12 kids so I was at church before I was in the world,” Jacobs says. “When I came into this world, he was one of the people that was there to help shape and mold me. He really spoke into my life.”
Not only was Maynard Jacobs’ first pastor, she also launched her music ministry in his church. After high school, he gave her a position as minister of music. Jacobs is the founder of His Song Ministries. She travels the globe ministering to thousands worldwide about the joy of just “letting go” in our worship time with Jesus.
But Jacobs remembers Maynard best as a pioneer in the Eastern North Carolina Indian work. The region is home to the Lumbee Indians, the largest tribe in North Carolina and the tribe from which Jacobs descended.
“Dr. Maynard was pioneer in his day of bringing Pentecost to the area. He helped to bring revivalists to Lumberton, like Oral Roberts and Dr. T.L. Lowery,” Jacobs recalls. “These men introduced us to real Pentecost and the power of God. He was a mover and shaker. He knew what to do and how to do it. He was a very educated man. He helped a lot of people.”
Married to a Caucasian, the Indian preacher helped establish many churches in the region, both Native American and white congregations.
“He was an advocate for equality. He believed in people of all races coming together. He loved the whites, Indians, blacks, Asians ... He loved all people,” Jacobs says, noting he was also a prolific singer and songwriter with a beautiful voice.
“He was a gospel preacher. Many thousand of people have been saved under his dynamic ministry. He’s traveled the world holding crusades,” Jacobs says. “He was a very loved man of God. I will miss him.”