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Mitchell Dick was installed as pastor of Immanuel PRC in Lacombe, AB, Canada on July 3, 1992.

Unlike most of the other ministers in the PRC

Mitchell Dick was installed as pastor of Immanuel PRC in Lacombe, AB, Canada on July 3, 1992.

Unlike most of the other ministers in the PRC, Rev. Dick was not all his life a member of one of the churches in that denomination. Nor, for that matter, was he even always a Reformed Christian. He was born and raised a Methodist, not converted to the Reformed faith till after his graduation from Cornell University (Ithaca, NY) in 1981.

With his conversion came also a change in his aspirations. Where at one time he thought to work toward a master’s degree in forestry at Duke University, he now began to pray, in great gratitude for his conversion, that the Lord might be pleased to call him to the ministry of the gospel of sovereign grace. Rather than going immediately back to school, however, he went to work in a restaurant, and took a job in landscaping — all the while reading more and more theology.

Then, ten years ago, he learned of the Protestant Reformed Churches, became a member of one of them, married Ellen Hanko, and began studying Dutch under Rev. C. Hanko. The following year he was accepted into what was then the pre-sem program at the Protestant Reformed Seminary.

Dutch was just the beginning. A good number of classes, not require for his B.S. from Cornell, were necessary for entrance into the seminary. Over the next several years, therefore, Mitch picked up those classes, not only at our seminary, but also at Aquinas and Calvin College and at Grand Valley State.

In September of 1987 he was admitted to the Protestant Reformed Seminary. During the frist three years there his wife was in and out of hospitals; and finally, in June of 1990, the Lord took Ellen home to Himself.

Mitch went on to complete his work in the seminary, graduated in the spring of 1991, and in June of that year was declared eligible, by Synod, for a call to the ministry in the Protestant Reformed Churches.

Later that year Mitch married Grace Kay Faber, who had been for twelve years a teacher at Adams Street Christian School in Grand Rapids. They look forward to the birth of their first child, D.V., in August.

It was with gratitude to God that Mitch received the call from Lacombe in the spring of 1992. After installation on the third of July, he preached his inaugural sermon there on July 5, occupying a pulpit for the first time as Rev. Mitchell Dick, newest pastor in the PRC.

Whereas Rev. Spriensma comes to us from the CRC and Rev. Dick has his roots in Methodism, Rev. Jaikishin Mahtani (who was declared by Synod 1992 to be eligible for a call in the PRC) was born into a Hindu family. His parents are Indian. They migrated to Singapore from Sindh, a province of India on its border with Pakistan. It was in Singapore that young Jaikishin was converted to Christianity. It was there too that he met and married Esther, a Chinese Singaporean who had herself been recently converted to Christianity from Buddhism. Their conversions were grievous disappointments to their families, who, with the exception of one brother, remain Hindu and Buddhist respectively to this day.

Jaiki’s friends and relatives had long encouraged him to become a lawyer. He was in fact enrolled in a law school at the University of Singapore. With his conversion, however, those plans changed. He felt a growing conviction that he was called by the Spirit to serve the Lord in the gospel ministry. He studied therefore for a year at the University, while at the same time being tutored by then missionary-pastor Rev. Arie denHartog, before leaving for the States in 1983 to be trained, in the Protestant Reformed Seminary, for the ministry of the Word in the Evangelical Reformed Church of Singapore.

Two of Jaiki and Esther’s five children, incidentally, were born in America — twin sons, born to the happy couple in Zeeland, Michigan. After three years in seminary Jaiki returned with his family to Singapore, and in October of 1986 he was ordained as minister of the gospel in the ERCS. In 1987 the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church was organized, with Rev. Mahtani as its first pastor.

Troubles developed in the young church, however, resulting in tensions between the pastor and the officebearers and congregation. Reconciliation was eventually accomplished, but the working relationship among the various parties had been so adversely affected by the conflict that is was deemed wise that Rev. Mahtani’s active labor in the congregations, for the time being, cease. He was therefore released by the Session of Covenant ERCS in February of 1992 and declared eligible for a call to serve elsewhere in the ERCS either as a pastor or a missionary.

The sister-church relationship between the ERCS and the PRC would require that he be considered just as really eligible for a call to be a pastor or missionary in the latter. The Contact Committee of the PRC earlier this year informed the churches of that, but asked our Consistories to wait with extending a call to Rev. Mahtani until after Synod had opportunity to speak to the issues involved. Synod did that in June, and Rev. Mahtani was officially declared eligible for a call also for labor in and for our churches – with this provision, that, when he does, the Lord willing, receive such a call, he submit to an examination by the Classis of which the congregation by whom he is called is a member, and that this exam be approved also by the Synodical Delegates. At present therefore Rev. Mahtani, recognized by all who know him as an energetic, zealous servant of the Lord, is a minister without a charge in the ERCS, eagerly awaiting the time when he can, D.V., return to full-time service in the kingdom.