Pastor To’omata Ropati Tumanuvao - SamoaPastor Of Asau Baptist Church
Pastor To’omata Ropati Tumanuvao
Mrs. Fetauimagau “Gau” Tumanuvao
Children: Fetū, Aliitasi, and Ropati Junior
Pastor To’omata Ropati Tumanuvao has been called of God and voted in by Asau Baptist Church to serve as its pastor. To’omata is his title name as a high chief in the village of Avao. Ropati is his given name (first name) and Tumanuvao is his surname (last name). He was born and raised in Asau village but spent some years living in Apia and short periods abroad as a seasonal worker in New Zealand. He has worked in the past as a farmer, taxi driver, and carpenter.
Mrs. Gau has been a teacher for the last nine years at ABC Academy, a ministry of Asau Baptist Church . She currently teachers levels six to eight as well as serving as the school principal. Ropati and Gau have three children, Fetū, Aliitasi (Tasi), and Ropati Junior. Fetū graduated from level eight of ABC Academy last year and currently attends the government secondary school. Tasi and
Ropati Junior attend ABC Academy in grades 7 and 3. All three have professed salvation and been baptized at Asau Baptist Church, with Ropati Junior most recently back in July, 2020. Pastor Ropati and Mrs Gau were saved, baptized and added to Asau Baptist Church in 2012. They had come from an Assembly of God background and professed salvation but upon moving back to Asau village and attending our church, they came to realize that their understanding of salvation was works–based and not truly scriptural. Therefore, they prayed in repentance of their sins and in faith in Christ alone and His finished work on Calvary for their salvation. They were baptized and added to the church the following Sunday. Ropati and Gau began as faithful church members and soon after Ropati joined our Bible Institute while Gau began discipleship as well as serving as a teacher in our school ministry. In 2013, Ropati and Gau were ordained as a deacon and deacon’s wife. Ropati began serving as a lay preacher and continued his studies. In February of 2020, after completing his studies and having served faithfully over the preceding years, Ropati was ordained as a preacher of the gospel and called as the assistant pastor of the Asau Baptist Church. On May 12th, 2021, Ropati was voted in at a church meeting to become the new pastor of Asau Baptist Church. On June 7th, he will be presented to the village chiefs in a cultural ceremony called a momoli.
In Samoa, pastors are presented to the village chiefs in this cermony of exchanging speeches and presenting of gifts in order to show respect to the chiefs. In response, the chiefs pledge to afford the highest respect and protection by the village chiefs, even above the highest chief or dignitary. This cultural protocol dates back to when the Samoan chiefs received the ealiest Christian missionaries and their gospel message in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
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