is the first person of Tongan heritage to be ordained in the DOC and is now serving as the lead pastor of the First Tongan Christian Church, co-located with Granger Community Christian Church, in Salt Lake City, Utah. This community is the only Disciples congregation with roots in the island nation of Tonga.
Tevita reflects, “By learning from professors of different faiths and religions, CST helped me prepare for ministry. I really appreciate the mission CST holds as an interfaith and ecumenical institution. To learn from different perspectives allows dialogue without condemnation of the other, but rather reaching out and working together to bring a better tomorrow.”
A talented musician, Tevita’s first career was as a middle school music teacher, so singing with his siblings and former students was one of the joys of his ordination service. He says, “The ordination was unforgettable! I reunited with friends and family from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Indianapolis, Denver, Salt Lake City, and Tonga and had the privilege of singing with my siblings and former students again. It was also such a joy to have my home church and home pastor, Rev. Vinnetta Golphin, host the event, and to have Rev. Daphne Gascot Arias of Downey Memorial Christian Church preach a profound message from Micah 6:8. I feel relieved reaching this point, yet still so much is required and expected for what is to come.”