Harry and Lily Reimer traveled to meet with a few Pauite Indians on the reservation just an hour north of Las Vegas. Under the shade of an old Mesquite tree, they told about their Savior. It was a hot Southern Nevada day in 1957 where daytime temperatures were over 115 degrees and not going below 100 degrees at night. That didn’t deter Harry and Lily Reimer as their hearts were touched by the people who lived and farmed in the Muddy River Valley. Little did they know their faithfulness would touch generations to come.
Eventually, one of the women of the tribe opened up her small home where she lived with her children. Sunday services were held there for six years, until the church building was completed. It was a small 20 by 20 brick building, but judging by the excitement you would have thought it was a cathedral.
Harry Reimer was a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in Las Vegas for the state of Nevada. Every Sunday he and Lily packed up their nine children and drove the hour drive from Las Vegas so they could spend the day teaching and ministering to the people of the Moapa Paiute tribe. With a heart of compassion, they stayed all day with no air conditioning in the intense desert heat. In the winter they used a wood burning pot belly stove to heat the small sanctuary. No financial support was received from any church or denomination. Their time, talents and love were freely given to the people of this tribe for the next 27 years.
Many Sundays, you could find Pastor Reimer baptizing hungry souls at the head waters of the Muddy River. He and his family would often take the congregation to the camp meetings in Prescott, Arizona. They would also travel to northern Nevada to minister to the Paiute tribes in the Elko and Reno areas.
After 27 years, Pastor Reimer moved to Reno to minister to the Native Americans in that area. Pastor Reimer passed away in 2008 at the age of 89, leaving a legacy of changed lives.
Joseph Primm, a Native American, pastored at the Moapa Christian Church for a time. After Pastor Primm left, Pastor Fidel Smith pastored until he passed away followed by Pastor Wilford Benn until his death. The church was striving to stay opened after Pastor Benn passed away. Members, Bud Meyers and Julie Smith held Sunday School for awhile to keep the doors of the church opened but eventually the church became unoccupied for seven years.
But God had not forgotten about His people on the Moapa Paiute Reservation. Sixteen years earlier, Bill and Anita Lang heard God’s call to minister to Native Americans. Not knowing when, how or where, they began to prepare. Anita Lang was a labor and delivery nurse, while Bill Lang had spent most of his career in the United States Air Force, retiring after 27 years and then went on to become a high school teacher.
While attending the International Church of Las Vegas, they began going to Bible College. In their very first class, Fanita Reimer-Douglas, the daughter of Harry and Lily Reimer, introduced herself as the daughter of a missionary who started the church on the Moapa Paiute reservation. She told of the years she had traveled with her family every Sunday to help her parents with the little church. Upon hearing this, Bill and Anita’s heart jumped knowing God was leading them! Bill and Anita knew God was opening doors for them. With many confirmations, they knew God was preparing them for the call of their lives.
They came to the reservation in October of 2000 to meet with the Moapa Paiute Tribal Council. It wasn’t until January of 2001 that they found out they had received a positive consensus from the tribal members and were allowed to open the church. Renovations started in March of 2001 and in July of the same year, the renovations were complete. After seven years of being dormant, the church doors were opened again. Services began on August 12, 2001 with 15 people in attendance. Within 18 months, the church was totally debt free and has been operating that way ever since.
God gave Pastor Bill a vision to build a new sanctuary in 2004 that would seat 250 people. Easter Sunday, the people gathered and broke ground for the new building. Every Easter since showed major advancement toward completing the building, all without any debt owed. No financial support was received from any church or denomination. This is no small miracle! The church was open and was completely paid for. Pastor Bill and Anita remained faithful full time ministers as most of the years were spend working full time as a high school teacher and nurse.
Pastor Anita once said, “God is our Pilot and we do nothing without His direction. We are so blessed to be in this ministry and we love our family at Moapa Christian Church.” They retired their pastoral duties in January 2016 and moved to Texas to be close to their family. They poured their lives into the people at Moapa Christian Church and have forever left their mark of love on so many. They are greatly missed.
Paul Howard became the pastor of Moapa Christian Church along with assistant Pastors Richard & Rosita Fisher.
Richard went home to be with Jesus on September 5, 2021. Rosita Fisher is the full-time pastor of Moapa Christian Church.
His church continues on from what was started on that hot day in 1957.