A Voice from the Eastern Door

REV. JOHN E. THOHATE MARACLE

(NOVEMBER 12, 1950 – NOVEMBER 16, 2023)

Rev. John E. Thohate Maracle, Emeritus Pastor of Mohawk Assembly of God, died on Nov. 16, 2023 at 73 years old.

Thohate (Jo-ha-day) was born November 12, 1950 to Garnet and Bertha Maracle. At 16, Maracle became a Mohawk warrior. As the grandson of a Wolf Clanmother and one of the first Mohawk Pentecostal believers, Maracle had a heart for the 673 indigenous nations in North America to be told the truth that a person can have a personal relationship with Jesus and remain indigenous.

In 1973, Maracle graduated from Central Bible College, in Springfield, MO. His education prepared him to “preach, proclaim, and practice the Pentecostal message.” He was ordained in 1975, with the Assemblies of God, pastoring churches among the Navajo, Menominee, Lumbee, Seneca, and Mohawk.

Together, with his wife, Rana, Rev. Maracle served as the president of the Native American Fellowship of the Assemblies of God from 2000 – 2022 and was elected as the Assemblies of God’s Ethnic Fellowship Executive Presbyter in 2007, a position he held for 14 years. In his Executive Presbytery role, Maracle represented the 24 ethnic fellowships within the Assemblies of God, including the nearly 200 American Indian and Alaska Native churches surrounded by the United States.

A member of the Mohawk Nation, Wolf Clan, of the Iroquois Confederacy, Maracle assisted the founding board of CKON Radio by participating on the team of Akwesasronon to write the first Mohawk Nation broadcast policy for its on air debut October 1, 1984. His work to empower the expansion of Mohawk natural liberty continued in 1988 when he marched, with the Mohawk people, across the US/Canada border, and further caravanned from Akwesasne to Tyendinaga as an act to exercise the Mohawk ability to conduct trade among the Mohawk Nation territories.

In 1990, Pastor John furthered his empowerment work as he sat at the table of the Sken Nen Kowa Project which sought to bring peace to the civil conflict over gaming in Akwesasne, as well as continue Mohawk self-governance to keep the US and Canadian federal, state, and provincial governments out of the internal matters of the Mohawk Nation. Also in 1990, He was part of the Mohawk negotiating team during the Oka Crisis. Pastor John regularly crossed the razor-wire during the Canadian invasion of Kanasatake so he could listen to the women, children, and men within the wire perimeter, then report back to the Mohawk leadership gathered in Kanawake to discuss a pathway to peace with Canada.

Assemblies of God General Superintendent Doug Clay says, “Only eternity will truly reveal the influence of John’s life and ministry. Our loss is certainly heaven’s gain.”

A Celebration of Life will be held, for Rev. John E. Thohate Maracle, in the Mohawk way at the Mohawk Community Center on the Mohawk Nation Territory of Tyendinaga (1808 York Rd., Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory K0K1XO) on December 16, 2023 at 10am.

In lieu of flowers donations can be sent to the Ononyotekowa Mohawk Education Endowment at Evangel University. (https://www.evangel.edu/advancement/) Choose “Other” from the drop down menu and list the Ononyotekowa Mohawk Education Endowment in the space provided. Checks/Cheques written to Evangel University with the Ononyotekowa Mohawk Education Endowment notated in the memo should be sent to: Evangel University, Attn: University Advancement, 1111 N Glenstone, Springfield, MO 65802

 

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