Meet The Board
Board of Directors
John was born in Macomb, Illinois in 1943 where he attended the First Presbyterian church until leaving for college in 1961. During the next ten years, he mingled college, working and two years in the US Army which all culminated in BS and MS degrees in structural engineering from the University of Colorado. He began his career in structural engineering in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1970 and semi-retired in 2014.
John and Jeanni met in 1990. They were both single with grown kids. They had both drifted from the church and felt a strong draw by the Holy Spirit to know Jesus. That began a long and wonderful walk together to know Him. They were married in 1994 at Walnut Creek Presbyterian Church (WCPC). Later, they joined the Walnut Creek Evangelical Friends Church (WCFC) but maintain close ties to WCPC. John is facilities coordinator and mission’s coordinator at WCFC. Through their Friends Church, Jeanni and John maintain close ties to Friends missionaries in Nepal and Cambodia. They stayed with their missionary friends in Nepal for one month in 2014.
John was part of the 1996 Walnut Creek Presbyterian (WCPC) short-term mission team to NAOMI (first team to NAOMI) and has returned with them for many years. John’s role with NAOMI has primarily been in the area of design and construction of the team’s various building projects. He became president of the NAOMI Board of Directors in 2014.
John and Jeanni reside in Walnut Creek, California. They both have two married, adult children, and a total of ten grandchildren.
Chris grew up in rural Wisconsin on a dairy farm, was a pastor’s kid (PK), and oversaw the pastoral duties when his parents moved on from the ministry for two years. He is a member of the Muskogee Creek Nation. With the background of having native blood and having an adopted sister who is of the Sioux Creek tribe. He has had a heart to minister and serve Native American children/ youth from an early age.
Chris served in many areas of ministry at a church in Kansas City for over ten years before moving to Tennessee. He has also worked on many mission projects in the US, Canada, and Israel. Chris is a Contractor in Columbia, Tennessee, and brings that skill set to NAOMI to help oversee the facilities there and future building projects. He is also part of the expansion into South Dakota on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
Chris resides in Columbia, Tennessee, with his wife Amanda and two active teenage boys.
Peter was born in 1963 in Southern California, and moved to Northern California in 1974. During his teenage years he was active in the Campus Life ministry at his high school, and accepted Christ on one of their sponsored trips when he was 15. He then became an active member of the Walnut Creek Presbyterian Church’s (WCPC) high school group, and served in a leadership role for 2 years.
During his college years, he went on his first short term mission trip where he spent the summer of 1982 working at the Greek Bible Institute. Peter married Jordana Shusta 1986. Two years later they led a WCPC group of 20 students and three adults on a two week mission trip to Mendenhall, Mississippi. In 1990, they were blessed to experience the birth of their first child Nathan, and 2.5 years later the birth of their daughter Hannah.
Peter has had numerous roles at WCPC, including: High school leader for 8 years; teaching children’s Sunday School for 5 years; on the Associate Pastor nominating committee; and as a deacon, and ruling elder. He is currently heading up the Men’s committee, along with working part time as the church handyman.
In 1996, Peter was a member of the first short term mission team that came to work at NAOMI. Peter has been an active member of the annual WCPC short term mission trip to NAOMI. He has been the team leader since 2010.
Peter retired from Chevron, after 35 years of work in the IT organization. He also has been heavily involved in the Boy Scout program for 16 years, and coached youth soccer for 8 years.
Peter and Jordana reside in Pleasant Hill, California.
Sidney W. Eline III was born in 1966 in Louisville, Kentucky. He was named after his father Sid Jr. and his grandfather who died as a bomber pilot in WW2. The Eline family has a long history in Louisville. Tony Eline started an automobile dealership, worked potato farming along with real estate development over 100 years ago. All of the Eline family members have worked in and several are still working for the family business.
Sid graduated high school in 1985, received a Bachelor Arts in Journalism and a minor in Business from Western Kentucky University in 1990. That same year he earned his Real Estate license and then his Brokers license in 2004. He has been working at Eline Realty since 1989 and became the President and Principal Broker in 2017.
Sid met Kelly, his wife of 29 years in 1987 and they have four awesome adult children Meagan, Alec, Lily and Ethan. His parents were strong Christians and he was raised in a Baptist type church. He was born again and was baptized at the age of 17, after a brief teenage rebellion. He is thankful for a strong youth group and for leaders who really helped him through that difficult period.
It was at this church that he met Linda Thompson — the founder of NAOMI House. She gave her testimony about her experiences with the Navajo children and her experience in Arizona. Her testimony resulted in God placing her and the kids in his heart at a young age. His parents were generous givers and always welcomed strangers and singles into their home who needed a place to live. He often thought about serving God as a full time missionary, but God led him to work for the family business. He is thankful that he is able to follow in his parents footsteps in being generous givers to his local community and to NAOMI over the years.
He has made several trips with his family to Arizona, to visit NAOMI. Most of those visits were during his kids Christmas break, where as a family they were able to serve and spend time with the kids. These trips created a special place in his families hearts for NAOMI and the kids who live there. He is very excited and blessed for the opportunity to serve as a board member and looking forward to spending more time on the property every year with his family to serve in any capacity that is needed.
Matt grew up in Marin County, California. After a short stint in the Army he moved to Sacramento, California and began to work in Construction. It was in the Sacramento area that he met his wife Lois and where they had 2 children, Mary and Stewart.
After coming to know the Lord and serving in different ministries at Citrus Heights Friends Church and going on a few mission trips to Mexico and Cambodia that they felt a call into full time ministry. They all moved to Kansas where Matt attended Barclay College and got his BA in Pastoral Ministry and later a MA in Transformational Leadership. Once his BA was completed they moved again to Cambodia and became full time missionaries there for 8 years.
In 2011 they sensed The Lord was leading them back home to the United States and Matt received a Call to Pastor Denair Friends Church in the Central Valley of California. It was there that they heard about NAOMI and later he helped lead a team there in partnership with Walnut Creek Friends Church. They, as did all those who went, fell in love with NAOMI, the staff, the kids and their mission. They have led teams there every summer since then and plan to do so into the foreseeable future.
Apostle Fred Smith – is a full-blood Navajo of the Kiyaa’aanii (Mothers side) and the To’dich’iinnii clan (Fathers side). Apostle Fred and his wife Mrs. Wanda Smith, pastor Community Pentecostal Church located in Ft. Duchesne, Utah. Home to the Northern Ute Tribe, and have been involved in full-time ministry for over 38 years. They are ordained with the Pentecostal Church of God located in Bedford, Texas.
Apostle Fred has attended Newburgh Theological Seminary located in Evansville, Indiana having received his B.A. in Bible Theology, and is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in Theological studies. In the year 2000 1st-Nation Ministries Inc. was founded by Apostles Fred and Wanda Smith. 1st-Nation Ministries provides training, resources, and conferences for Native leaders and churches. 1st-Nation Ministries is a network of 208 Native churches, and 54 Bible schools, they host 8 annual Leadership conferences throughout North America targeting Native pastors and their leadership.
Yá’át’ééh Joey Hemsoth yinshyé
Naakai dine’é bashishchiin
Beehai Jicarilla dashinalí
“I am (Water’s Edge clan ), born for ( The Mexican clan), my maternal grandfather is ( The Towering House clan), my paternal grandfather’s clan is (Jicarilla). “ This is how I Identify as a Navajo woman.”
Joey and her family reside in Sedona AZ, Husband Jared Hemsoth and Son Hashké Naabaahii. Joey has a BS Degree in Business administration and Humanities. She is a true entrepreneur and business owner, she is passionate about bringing financial education to all native communities.
She has been a part of the NAOMI House ministry since she was born. Linda Thompson the founder of NAOMI House is her godmother. Linda was entrusted with Joey along with her siblings to be raised in her care, as her mother lost parental rights during her time of addiction and imprisonment. Joey lived at NAOMI House from age 11 until she aged out of the foster care system.
Throughout her journey in life, she always wanted a life free from violence and drug addiction, she witnessed as a child. She came to her faith at a young age, she would pray for the salvation of her mother. That prayer would be answered in 2003. Her mother would dedicate her life to the Lord and serve at NAOMI House by cleaning, doing laundry, and playing with the kids. After Joey left NAOMI House, it held a special place in her heart. She continued to serve at NAOMI House through time, by giving the staff respite and doing activities with the children. She loves NAOMI House and will continue to carry on Linda’s legacy by being a part of the continual growth of the ministry.