Flute Making Class Helps Sapulpa Minister To Reconnect

Thursday, January 8th 2009, 1:30 pm
By: News On 6

By Chris Howell, NewsOn6.com

SAPULPA, OK -- Reverend Nelson Harjo felt a need to reconnect spiritually with his Creek Indian ancestry. Fourteen years ago he took a flute making class at an Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference and has been making flutes ever since.

"You can go to church and you can actually begin to follow Christ and do everything you're supposed to do there and you can begin to feel pretty good about yourself, but sometimes there's also a little emptiness within you. Sometimes it's somewhat rough, because I had to fight with thoughts of Christianity and my culture," said Nelson Harjo.

It has been learning experience as well as a journey of growth for Reverend Harjo.  As pastor of Pickett Chapel just south of Sapulpa, he has reconciled his personal beliefs and now is gaining praise for both his ministry and flute making abilities.

Harjo travels the state showing and playing his handmade flutes. You can even hear him playing flute on Creek Nation Casino commercials.

"As I began that journey I found out that there is a lot more to it than the fact that you are making a flute. Sinking back into my culture through making the flutes and how it helped me get back to my culture, heritage and everything it helped deepen my spiritual life," Rev. Nelson Harjo said.

Pickett Chapel is located south of Sapulpa at 17610 S. Hickory Street.