Ionatana "Tana" Neufeldt was ordained into the gospel ministry in an outdoor drive-in ceremony Sept. 19, 2020. Alaska Conference leadership conducted the ceremony with John Freedman, North Pacific Union Conference president, giving the charge.
Neufeldt first heard about the Adventist message when his sister invited him to an evangelistic meeting. Impressed that the message was supported by the Bible, he later accepted Jesus and was baptized.
Neufeldt attended the Fulton Seminary College in Fiji but eventually moved to Southern California with his wife, Loruama. There he enrolled in a dental technology program, eventually opening his own thriving dental laboratory.
Despite this success, the Holy Spirit reminded Neufeldt of God’s call in his life. His pastor cast a vision to plant a church, and the Neufeldts eagerly joined the effort. Because there was no money or meeting space, the Neufeldts' home became the first place of worship for a group of 40 people. The group grew quickly and was organized into a church company the following year.
After of 14 years, Neufeldt left his business to pursue God’s calling full time. Neufeldt graduated with his Master of Divinity degree at Andrews University.
He then accepted a call in the Samoa-Tokelau Mission. While there he pastored the Fusi/Vailoa District and served the mission as health ministry director.
Eventually, the Neufeldts returned to California, where Neufeldt worked as a dental technician, but he longed to return to ministry. While waiting for God to open the door, Neufeldt served as first elder at New Hope Church and was an intergral part in planting a Samoan group in High Desert, California.
Neufeldt was invited to serve in the Alaska Conference in February 2017 as pastor for the Anchorage Samoan and The Second Mile churches. In reflecting on his life, Neufeldt realizes God has led, and continues to lead, in his life, despite of delays and challenges.
The Neufeldts have two daughters: Layna, 33, and Elynda, 8.