Dakota Christian Ministries was established and incorporated as a 501c(3) in 1986. This ministry was created as a result of Dakota Bible College closing its doors. The Bible College was located in Huron, South Dakota. Dakota Christian Ministries was established to be a church planting organization for North and South Dakota. Gerry Sappington was the first Director of the organization.
In 1995, Sappington resigned as the Director of Dakota Christian Ministries to become an instructor at Puget Sound Bible College. The organization was without a Director until April of 2001 when Mike Sojka became only the second director in the ministry’s history.
In 1999, Dakota Christian Ministries changed its name to Northern Plains Evangelistic Association (NPEA). Along with the name change came a redirection in the vision of the organization. Instead of limiting itself to planting churches in only North and South Dakota, NPEA now assists in planting churches wherever God leads this ministry.
In January of 2001, Wyoming Evangelistic Association merged with Northern Plains Evangelistic Association expanding NPEA’s territory to include Wyoming along with North and South Dakota. The Board of Directors decided in February of 2004 to adopt Manitoba, Canada as part of NPEA’s territory as well. This was decided because it seemed logical to plant churches in North Dakota that would be the mother churches to new churches planted in Manitoba. Geographically, the Canadian province connects with the state of North Dakota. Both organizations had planted numerous churches in their individual history.
The newly merged organization's first church plant was in Spearfish, SD in Sept. 2004 (North Point Christian Church). Since that time NPEA has planted a new church in Laramie, WY in Sept. 2008 (White Water Christian Church); partnered with a church plant in Boise, ID in Oct. 2008 (Canyon Ridge Church); partnered with relaunching a church in Mountain View, WY in Sept. 2011 (Gateway Community Christian Church); planted a new church in Bismarck, ND in Sept. 2012 (Revive Christian Church); and partnered with a church plant in Arlinton Heights, IL in Oct. 2013 (Quest Church).
Oct. 2013 also marked the resignation of Mike Sojka as Director. NPEA moved the office to Rapid City, SD and the Board stepped up once again and moved forward. In September of 2015, NPEA was excited as Real Life Christian Church of Sheridan, WY was launched and another milestone was acheived.
Currently NPEA is helping CEM of IOWA plant a church in Sioux City, IA, working with a partnership to start a new church in Hastings, NE and is actively seeking a church planter for Aberdeen, SD.
We continue to work to bring Christ to communities throughout the Northern Plains.