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Dean Wilson - Year Entered 1958

Dean Wilson

Tribute: Dean Wilson

Dean Wilson, widely known for pioneering the work of the Church of God in Canada, died at home in Portland, Oregon, on Jan. 12, 2005. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in late 1999 and had been retired from the active ministry since that time.

He is survived by his wife, Marolyn;  their three children, Linda, Douglas and Matthew; and by 10 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Dean was born in Osceola, Iowa, July 10, 1929. His family moved in 1936 to the Portland area where Dean grew up.  It was here he met and married Marolyn.  Dean served in the U.S. Air Force in Korea, Japan and North Africa, during which  time his wife first heard The World Tomorrow broadcast. They were both later baptized,  Marolyn in 1954 and Dean in 1955.  Following separation from the Air Force, Dean was accepted to Ambassador College in 1958.

The week following graduation Dean was ordained and given the task of overseeing the fledgling Canadian mailing office in Vancouver, British Columbia, and pastoring the newly formed Vancouver congregation. His zeal and optimism for the growth of the Church were obvious to all.  Growth and development were the hallmarks of his career.  During his 14 years overseeing the work in Canada, the Church flourished.

Dean was known as Mr. Canada and jokingly referred to as the representative for the Vancouver Chamber of Commerce.

Under his watch Canada grew from a single congregation of 53 in Vancouver to a nationwide church with 61 congregations attended by 8,796 members and served by 101 ministers and assistants according to a July 1975 census of the Church in Canada.  Canada also became a significant financial contributor to the work of the Church in other international areas.

Following his service in Canada, Dean took over the regional directorship of the Austral-Asian area.  After two international assignments—Canada and Australia—Dean returned to the United States, pastoring churches in Portland and San Diego, California, before being returned to Portland in 1994 where he was retired.

In 1995 at the founding meeting of the United Church of God in Indianapolis, Indiana, Dean was one of the featured speakers.  In his Indianapolis presentation Dean made a telling observation.  He recounted how friends had told him that now that he was retired, he could do what he wanted.  Dean’s response was as follows: “I reflected on that statement.  All I can say was, the last 35 years that’s exactly what I have been doing. Exactly what I want.  I was a minister in God’s Church,  I was pastoring a flock,  I was dealing with people, and helping them, encouraging them, and helping them along to salvation.”

Dean Wilson will be remembered for his excellence in all these responsibilities.

Robert Dick

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02/03/15 02:08 PM #1    

Steve Frandsen (1975)

I always enjoyed his sermons. He was funny.

08/01/15 07:18 PM #2    

Mike Feazell (1969)

A sweet spirit. Dean taught 2nd grade math at Imperial School in 1958. I was in his class and I remember two things about that year: 1. He had us trace coins onto paper, cut them out, and use them in a "store" he set up to teach us how to count change. 2. He was kind and gentle and treated students like they mattered. 

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