American Indian culture sustained in music ministry
By Rosa Salter Rodriguez
Then the drum was officially named–Mino-Mashkiki Ode, which in the Ojibwe language means Good Medicine Heart–and sounded.
The service reflected the ministry of Wildman and his wife, Darlene, two Michigan-born, award-winning gospel musicians whose mission is easing the relationship between American Indians and the Christian church.
The couple travel to churches and other gatherings to perform American Indian music as the group RainSong.
He became fascinated, and he and Darlene decided to move to Arizona from the Grand Rapids, Mich., area in the early 1990s to be closer to American Indians.
There, they got involved with a Christian mission society that worked among the Navajo and Hopi Indians and discovered what Wildman calls the “cultural barrenness” of Christian worship on reservations.
Soon, he and Darlene began writing and performing songs in church that melded a Christian message with American Indian instruments, sounds, language and imagery–and a contemporary folk-rock vibe.
Below: "Darlene and Terry Wildman with Sean Soukkala, right, are RainSong. They perform Christian music with an American Indian emphasis." (Cathie Rowand/The Journal Gazette)