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Featured Article: "Dyck, Nick (1921-2022)"

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Nick Dyck (1921-2022)

Nicholas “Nick” John Dyck: minister and conference worker; was born 5 November 1921 in Nikolaipol, Ukraine, to Johann Dyck (3 May 1870, Kronsgarten, Chortitza, South Russia – 29 January 1964, Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada) and Katarina (Rempel) Dyck (26 August 1884, Alexandrovsk, Chortitza, South Russia – 21 November 1964, Abbotsford, British Columbia). He was the sixth of seven children born to Johann and Katarina (his father had six children from a previous marriage). Nick married Elizabeth “Betty” Wall, daughter of Hermann Wall (1897-1937) and Elizabeth (Kliewer) Wall (1897-1985), on 5 October 1947 in Yarrow, British Columbia. Nick and Betty had six children: Carolyne, Robert, Lorraine, John, Evelyn, and Charles. Nick died 1 February 2022 in Abbotsford, British Columbia, at the age of 100.

Nick liked to tell the story of how his life was an answer to the prayer of his parents, who dedicated him to the Lord for survival and service during a severe famine in Ukraine that took the lives of many Ukraine family members. Nick believed that his conversion and baptism in his youth and later ordination for ministry confirmed his special purpose.

In 1923, the Dyck family immigrated to Canada from Ukraine, first to Saskatchewan and then to the Fraser Valley in British Columbia. Nick started his adult life as a farmer, but while attending Yarrow’s Elim Bible School in 1954-55, he soon realized that the Lord was calling him to a pastoral outreach ministry. This involved starting the McConnell Creek Church in 1956 near Mission, British Columbia, where for six years he tested various church growth principles. Next, he graduated from Northwest Baptist Theological College in Burnaby and then accepted the invitation to pastor Central Heights Church in Abbotsford, doing so for the next 11 years. Under Nick’s leadership the church became known across Canada as a model flagship outreach community church.

Nick Dyck was a trailblazer with a heart for outreach. He was influenced by the church growth and charismatic movements, as well as many other outreach involvements that helped make his ministry fruitful and effective. He had a vision to reach the community and to remove the ethnic barriers between the church and society at large. Nick was known for breaking the Mennonite Brethren Church out of its homogeneous Mennonite culture. He also championed the worship language change from German to English and renamed church plants from "mission churches" to "community churches." Nick aggressively pursued evangelism as the church’s first goal.

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