The Rev. Nazim B. Fakir, pastor of St. Peter’s AME Church and the Rev. LaTonya April Fakir, are a unique ministerial team.
As husband and wife, they share a love of God, love of family and love of the community. Recently members of the St. Peter’s AME Church, located at 401 E. 41st St. in south Minneapolis, celebrated Pastor Fakir’s first anniversary as their pastoral leader.
A native of Detroit, Nazim Fakir received his undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of Detroit Mercy and his master of divinity with a concentration in urban ministry from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Ill.
Pastor Fakir believes the church should be integral to family and community life.
“In my view the church should have a primary role in shaping families and communities. The Black church once was the center of the Black community and everything communal was there. At that time we were a much stronger and unified community, even if by default,” said the church’s pastor. “I believe the church needs to push to return again to a more central place in the community so that we might assist individuals and families with finding their path towards wholeness.”
A family man, Nazim Fakir said his wife is his partner in life and ministry.
“My wife and I met at a mutual friend’s house in Detroit, in the summer of 1992. After our initial meeting we talked for hours and immediately knew there was something special between us,” said Nazim Fakir. “We were married on May 6, 1994, and have been married for 19 years.”
When asked how his life in Detroit shaped him as a man and as a leader, the pastor said, “Growing up in Detroit had a profound effect on me. First, I am a lover of the automobile and have been since I was old enough to have car keys. Secondly, Detroit is a blue collar, working town with hard-working residents who want to provide a great life for their families and have struggled against the empire to do so. I have grown to be an advocate for those that find it difficult to advocate for themselves. My dad, Abdul ‘Duke’ Fakir, the sole remaining original member of the Four Tops, is considered entertainment royalty in Detroit and many parts of the world. Having that influence really opened up the world to me and broadened my thinking as it relates to what is possible to achieve in life. Also, it gave me the opportunity to travel the country and to other parts of the world, which helped to shape a global understanding of humanity. Because of the financial security this lifestyle provided I was able to get into lots of trouble, make lots of mistakes, and learn lots of lessons the hard way, which in turn allowed me to experience a great number of things that have proven to help prepare me for the ministry that God has called me to.”
A passion for social justice and advocacy carries over into Nazim Fakir’s ministry at St. Peter’s AME. During his first year as pastor, the church reintroduced itself to the community, spoke out regarding issues of injustice and discrimination and developed a community garden to help deal with the food desert in the south Minneapolis community. Pastor Fakir also revitalized a number of ministries including the Noon Day Bible Study, Worship Arts Ministry and Ministry to Women. He also initiated a new Social Action Ministry to address ills in the community and commissioned a committee to secure annual sustaining, capital and endowment funds to assist with expansion of the church’s ministries and the upkeep and expansion of its building and grounds.
“The supreme thing that drives me to serve is the calling that I answered from God back in 1999, however I am motivated by other factors as well,” said St. Peter’s pastor. “I have experienced the grace of God in my own life that has helped me to overcome a great many personal challenges and I am motivated to share that reality with as many people as I can. I have a burning desire to assist men with realizing their power lies in God and not in the trappings of this world,” said Pastor Fakir.
“We can reach whatever goals we set. My short-term goals are to continue to foster spiritual, numerical, and economic growth. My long-term goals are to build a complete worshiping and serving community of believers where we have not only opportunities for worship but also for meeting the needs of the community by feeding, clothing, and educating area residents,” said Nazim Fakir.