Congratulations Dr. Dean Dickens
On Thursday, November 12, 2020, Dr. G. Dean Dickens became the 12th annual recipient of the Maples, Williamson, Daehnert Award as the Texas Baptist Interim Minister of the Year. The award, a perpetually spinning globe, represents his world travels around the planet Earth and his life of multinational ministry.
Dr. Dickens has served Baptist churches during the interim period at First Baptist Church in Texas City, Audubon Park Baptist Church in Garland, Agape Baptist Church in Fort Worth, and South Garland Baptist Church in Garland. His interim ministry has helped churches following extremely challenging situations. These circumstances include grief, conflict, financial crisis, and the need for new direction. Dr. Dickens previously served as a pastor, church starter, missionary, and professor.
Joining Dean for the virtual meeting and presentation was his wife, and co-minister in every place of service, Karr La Dickens. They have been married for 50 years.
As part of the virtual award event, an annual Fall Update was held. Interim pastors obtain continuing education at the bi-annual meetings. Dean spoke on: “Preaching in Covid’s Grip.” He asked the interim pastors’ group, “What adjustments are you making for more effective pastoral preaching during these stressful pandemic days?” For instance, did each SPEAKER have a ministry peer they could share with about all-too-common confrontations? Battles are being started over whether a church should open or not, or if a sermon on ethics was too political (when it was just biblical). Pastors need peer support. He asked, “Does your MESSAGE address the needs of the day?” Common needs during the pandemic include the loss of income, jobs, health, or family time. Dean concluded by asking, “Are your LISTENERS given an opportunity for a tangible response?” A scrolling banner inviting online attendees to call the church about their needs, with live responders available after service times, was one suggestion to show “we care.”
The MWD Award was originally presented to its namesakes: Dick Maples, Charles Lee Williamson, and Jan Daehnert. These men brought the vision for a specialized interim ministry to the BGCT. Also previously receiving the award are: Wallace Watkins, James McGlothlin, Nolan Duck, Les Robinson, Fred Meeks, Jimmy McLeod, Skip McNeal, Dwight Reagan, Levi Price, and Rusty Walton.
The award reflects accumulative service, as all these men have helped multiple churches through difficult interim periods, excelled in peer reviews of their Intentional Interim Ministries, and provided additional leadership for the Interim Ministry Network of the BGCT.
Congratulations to all these, the best of the best, and to the 2020 MWD Award winner, Dean Dickens.