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Clair Lund

Missionary in the American Indian Field
"A Man of God, Doing What He Was Supposed To."
By Rachel Elwood, Staff Writer, 2017

Pastor, teacher, worship leader, scholar. Throughout his many years of missionary service on the American Indian Field, Clair Lund was willing to dive into whatever ministry God had for him.

Clair was raised in Portland, Oregon. At Multnomah County Holiness Camp Meeting in 1941, he accepted Jesus as his personal Savior. Four years later, he made a full surrender, committing to serve the Lord with his life. In 1947, he began attending Cascade College in Portland. Clair was involved in various outreach groups, including Youth for Christ; visitation; and Skid Row, which worked in inner-city missions every week. During his sophomore year, Clair prayed to God for 10 days, asking for discernment on whether to become a doctor or a missionary.


Clair remembered “as clear as a telephone call” the night when God plainly asked, “Are you willing to do what I want you to do?”


“Yes,” Clair responded, reminding God that he had been willing for three years.


God asked the question again. Clair replied with the same response, adding, “I’ll go tomorrow if you say so.”


God asked the same question a third time. Clair finally asked, “What do You want?”


God responded, “Are you willing to preach and stay in this country?”


Clair answered, “Yes, Lord.” That response became his life motto.


With his new calling to preach, Clair began taking more classes in theology and Bible. During his senior year, he met his future wife, Dorothy, in a Greek class. They were married right after he graduated in 1951. Clair went to Western Evangelical Seminary for more training and realized God was also calling them to missions.


Clair and Dorothy applied with WGM and were appointed to the American Indian Field to minister to Native Americans. Together with their four children—James, Lois, John, and Ruth—Clair and Dorothy arrived in Arizona on September 1, 1962. A fifth son, Stephen, was born later.

Clair served as field director, high school principal and teacher at Southwest Indian School, pastor, bus driver, and scorekeeper at athletic events as well as in many other roles. He studied Native American culture, building trust and forming deep relationships with those he went to serve.


Clair and Dorothy officially retired in 1999, celebrating 37 years of missionary service. They continued to volunteer as SIS transitioned into Southwest Indian Ministries Center, focusing on camps and discipleship. In 2005, after 54 years of marriage, Dorothy passed away. Clair continued to live in the Phoenix area and played a key role in ministering to Native Americans, whose lives he had been a part of for many years. According to one colleague, Clair was “a man of God, doing what he was supposed to.”


World Gospel Mission joins with Clair’s family and friends in celebrating his faithful service to his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Psalm 116:15 (NIV) says, “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his faithful servants.” We mourn with those who mourn, yet we rejoice that Clair is in the presence of Jesus today.
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