By Steve Silverheels
as told to Jim Uttley


My dad, Jay Silverheels, was what you would consider Hollywood royalty. I admired my father for his success and achievements in film and leadership as the first Native American in cinema. But I didn't live with him growing up.

My parents separated when I was young but I did see my dad several times each year. Unfortunately, I didn't live up to my father's success in my young adulthood.

I was an alcoholic and drug addict after I got out of the Army. But on April 18, 1974, I came to realize that there was a God and a Savior of the world. I came home that day to my apartment and fell into bed. During my drunken stupor, in my mind's eye, I heard this loud crack and I could see myself looking up into the sky. In the sky was a clous descending and on that cloud was a figure which I couldn't really make out, but he was in a white robe. I couldn't see His hands or His feet or His face but the next thing I heard was him saying, "I've been calling you all your life. This is your last warning and your last call. Give your life over to Me or you will go to the pits of hell for eternity."

At that moment, I saw myself crying out to Jesus, the Savior of the world. The reason I was calling out to JHim was that all those years—18 years—I was on skid row on alcohol and drugs, I had stopped into many rescue missions along the way. I had gone all over and heard about this Man called Jesus.

That day I accepted Him into my life. I woke up kneeling next to the window of my apartment where I lived then and looking out, I looked up into the sky and I felt a tremendous power and presence upon me and I was delivered from alcohol and drugs that very night.

I was crying uncontrollably, asking Jesus to save me. Well, He did.

The next day, I went to a little Baptist church in the neighborhood in Southern California. I walked in and they were having a service. I walked down the aisle and the preacher was preaching. I walked right up to the pulpit and he stopped and asked, "What can I do for you?"

I said, "Last night, God delivered me from alcohol and drugs and I'm saved by the grace of God. I just want to make my public stand for Jesus.

They welcomed me into the church.

My daddy and mama had tried to get me off drugs for years but I'd take my money and spend it on alcohol and drugs.

After this I went to see my father, Jay Silverheels, who was in the hospital having suffered a number of strokes. When I walked up to his bed, tears started rolling down his face.

He said, "Son, the same God who created you, I want to know Him as my Creator and Lord."

I led him to the Lord that day and three weeks later, my momma got saved. After that, little by little my half-brothers and half-sisters came to the Lord. I still have three who don't know Jesus as Creator and Savior but they call me when they need prayer and when they need advice. God has always been there for them and for me.

 I was speaking in a little Methodist church the other day and the pastor told me he had never seen a moving of the Holy Spirit like he saw that day. People of all ages especially teenagers kept coming to the altar to be saved. Some of the older folks rededicated their lives. The pastor said he had never seen anything like it. I told him it was God the Holy Spirit. It's His Word and His power and grace that have fallen upon the people.

So that's where I'm at today. Still preaching and praising the Lord. God has been good to me and shown His favor on me. I appreciate it so much.

Our people always believed in a Creator and Native people call this "The Great Mystery" which the Bible speaks about. He was the man Jesus, the Son of God. We believed in the Great Spirit; many Native people have come to believe in the Holy Spirit.

In the early days we believed all that but the pilgrims only wanted us to sit down and listen to them teach the Bible instead of sitting an dlistening to us tell them what we knew about Creator. That's why I tell people that we are "spirit men and women" because God says that we are created in His image and likeness.

In the Gospel of John it says that He is a Spirit and should be worshipped in spirit and in truth. I believe that once we become Christians and we have the Holy Spirit in us, we are to walk in the Spirit, talk in the Spirit, and pray in the Spirit.

This is how we can become vaccinated in order to live in this world as believers because this world is not our home. We're just passing through.

I wrote out a message that God gave to me and I entitled it "Our Humanity and Jesus Christ" and it has been well-received wherever I have given it. Upon hearing this message being preached, people flock to the altar when they hear the Word of God being preached. That tells me that God ins't far off. He's coming for His people and we need to bring in as many as we can for the glory of God.

My wife died from cancer in 2009. I prayed for her and she got healed for a time but later on, the cancer came back and ravaged her body. I took care of her until she went on to be with the Lord.

I got mad at God and I wrote a message on how I got mad at Him for taking my right hand from me. She was with me for over 40 years and we served the Lord and she was a beautiful part of the ministry. She was a great woman and I will never find another one like her.

One day I was laying on the floor like a little child and I was screaming and weeping at God for taking her and when I couldn't scream or cry any more, I heard the still small voice. He said, "Are you finished now? Are you through?" He said, "Now get up and go about My business." And I've been doing so, sharing the gospel of Jesus and will everyday until the Lord calls me home.

I prayed and God has sent a lovely Christian lady into my life and we've been engaged for about five months. It's been 42 years that I've not looked back in my rearview mirror. I'm glad He has entrusted me with His Word and I've seen hundreds and thousands come to the Lord.

To be delivered from sickness and disease, I know that God is still on the throne.

 This article is from our March/April 2016 Indian Life newspaper.To read more Indian Life news, please go to our newspaper website at to subscribe to our online newspaper or go to our Online Store to subscribe to have it delivered to your door!