Virginia “Ginny” Detillion

Retired Missionary to the American Indian Field
“The Lord Knew His Plans for Me”
By Hillarie Hazelton, Writing Intern
May 2015

Virginia “Ginny” Detillion hadn’t planned on being a missionary and certainly hadn’t planned on spending 12 years serving with World Gospel Mission on the American Indian Field. But God worked His way through her life and led her to the place she needed to be, just when she needed to be there.

Ginny was born in Kingston, Ohio, but moved to eastern Kentucky at a young age. Ginny attended church in her earlier years, but she viewed church as a place to socialize rather than worship. In her 20s, she came close to accepting Christ after hearing Billy Graham speak but didn’t take that step. She married young and eventually was divorced from the father of her two sons. Circumstance and temptation led her further from God for nearly two decades.

At the age of 40 and after years of deep darkness, Ginny became a Christian. She attributed the conversion to her son and daughter-in-law, both of whom were recently converted Christians. On that day—March 13, 1985—her life was changed and she turned to the Lord. In an instant, she was ready to serve Him and live a holy life.

Ginny’s conversion led her to pursue further education at Circleville Bible College (now Ohio Christian University), where she graduated with a degree in Christian ministry and counseling in 1996. Before beginning college, she sensed that the Lord was telling her to do something with missions. The words of Isaiah 6:1-8 spoke to her heart: “It seemed as if the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart when he said, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then said I, ‘Here am I; send me.’”

At the time, Ginny felt that she would minister to women with dark pasts. Although this was a noble goal, God told Ginny that He had a different purpose for her life.

After a short missions trip to Arizona, Ginny realized that she had been called to serve in ministry on the American Indian Field. In 1998, this dream became a reality and she began to serve full time at Southwest Indian Ministries Center. Ginny spent 12 years fulfilling a variety of crucial roles on the field. From teacher to receptionist to pastor to camp kitchen staff, Ginny always gladly did what was needed so she could share God’s love with the Navajo people.

In 2002, Ginny helped start the To’Ki’Hasbi Holiness School in Black Mountain. The school taught students in first through fifth grade, using the Accelerated Christian Education curriculum, which is designed to help students move at their own pace. The children she served became an additional joy in her life.

“We want to be a place where children learn about Christ at a very early age,” Ginny said in a letter to her ministry partners.

Throughout the years, Ginny’s love for the Navajo people grew and she dedicated her time to learning the language so she could show how much she cared for the people she worked with on the reservation.

“The Navajo people have been held in bondage for centuries,” she wrote. “Now the enemy is feeling his grip on them loosening and he doesn’t give up easily, but I know who the winner is.”

Although she retired in 2011, Ginny continues to volunteer on the American Indian Field. Her life verse is Deuteronomy 31:8: “And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.”