On March 16, 2017 our dear friend Pastor James Dyck left earth to take his rightful place in heaven with the LORD.
If that sounds too religious, keep reading and let me tell you a story I think you'll enjoy reading as much as I am going to enjoy writing.
Few people know the beginning (pre-established) days of Free Indeed. You may have heard me tell the story but you may not remember the players and really grasp their significance and proof of God's love and extreme Grace.
James was the associate pastor at Redmond Community Church, which is lead by another amazing man, Pastor Curtis Tucker.
As the story goes, one Sunday James announced he was looking for people to join a community group or start one of their own. He was great at reminding people that living in community for Jesus was something to live not just do.
I prayed and after two weeks I knew I was suppose to step out and live my life out loud. I wrote a note (more like a little letter) on small paper. I put the letter in a small envelope and slid it under the church office door one Sunday. I did it this way because I didn't want to have them see me as the note was about starting a community group for people like me. People who had come out of the gay lifestyle and wanted to know Jesus grace like never before. Funny thing is, I put my name on it with my phone number. The mind plays silly tricks when you're scared to expose yourself to people you don't yet know well and hope the response won't be rejection.
The next day, I got a call asking me to come in and tell Curtis and James more about my idea. Can you say, "OMG what have I done!" I went and met them at the church. What came next blew me away. Here were two men of God waiting to welcome this new idea knowing it would be a challenge beyond what they had ever thought they would ever be doing in their church.
By the end of the visit, Curtis said, "I don't know how to do that but you do. Let me know what I can do to help." James said, "What you're doing is already bigger than this church and I'm all in for you!"
I could hardly believe what I was hearing. The place that brought so much pain in the past was not only my friend but my advocate and protection.
The story of James continues...James took me under his wing. He met with me and Brandon as we formulated the plan God had laid in front of us.
James never let his ego or lack of understanding of a lifestyle get in the way of being a grace out loud pastor. He introduced me to some amazing Christian brothers and sisters who said yes to coming along side and helping in every detail of the ministry.
James was a founding father of Free Indeed. He was an Inspiration. He was my friend. In fact, he still IS all of the above.
James would take time out of his busy life to meet with us whenever we called. Even as he battled his health condition, he never said no. Truly, he was the hands and feet of Jesus.
James had the best sense of humor you would ever want to meet. He loved me so much, he'd make jokes and tease me about my past. James knew how to connect with a heart and he sure did with mine. Llet's face it, his last name and my past were humorously destined to meet and share space on earth. His last name is spelled, "Dyck" and pronounced, dick. Oh Jesus, we love your humor so much!
As Free Indeed grew, I felt so unqualified and out of place. James was always there to teach, guide, encourage and especially love.
Without this man, Free Indeed would not have left the paper on which it was written.
Ever faithful was James!
This letter is to acknowledge a man after God's own heart. It is written to acknowledge a God after man's own heart. Both were found true and beyond imagination.
Now I must say bye for now. I miss you James. My peace comes in knowing we get to spend eternity together. You have impacted so many, I hope you have time for me in your mansion in the Kingdom:)
It was his hope and that of Free Indeed, that Jesus people would reach out to "world" and prove the Grace that Jesus so richly died to give us. Like James did for me.
I love you James! Pastor, teacher, encourager, leader, friend, brother in Christ and Apple of God's eye.
See you soon,
Forgiven by Grace Brother in Christ
John, who lived in the lifestyle for 30 years and returned to Christ full force, and Brandon, a 21 year old straight man also in love with the Lord Jesus. A team of two brought together by God to act as one. One gay one straight both in loving relationship with Christ.