Leonard and Lorena Yazzie

United States

Service Area: Specialized Ministries

Role: Native American Ministry

Ministry Focus

Leonard’s passion is to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with everyone he meets. He was appointed by Missions Door to take that news with him to rodeos and wherever his native people meet.

Faith Story

Leonard Yazzie was born in Keems Canyon, Arizona on the Navajo reservation. Raised by his grandparents nearby in the community of White Cone, he grew up tending the horses, cows, and sheep.

As one of nine children, he was introduced to the cowboy lifestyle at age 5. His first rodeo competition came when he was 10.

He was enrolled in a Christian school as a young man, but ran away when they prohibited him from speaking his native language.

He later attended Toyie Indian Boarding School, but soon transferred to Holbrook High to play basketball.

In 1979 Leonard turned his life over to Christ after his three best friends were killed in a car accident on a trip that he was supposed to be on.

He realized God had spared his life and he vowed that he would serve Him for the rest of it. His pastor told him that God was calling him to teach and preach.

In 1983 he became a youth pastor and in 1986 he met his wife Lorena at church. This same year he began traveling with the rodeo ministry and Lorena would go to watch him. He started the Indian Rodeo Ministry Association and served there several years.

In 1996 he left the rodeo ministry and took over pastoring Tse Bii Otseel Bible Church when code talker Lemuel Yazzie retired as its pastor. He resigned as pastor in 2010 to follow his passion and life calling to serve God as a rodeo pastor.


Leonard and Lorena were married in 1989 and have four children: Kyon, Nyomi, Theriot and Hanna.