January 3, 1923 – March 16, 2012
“Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:21). These words certainly came to mind on March 16, 2012, as our Lord’s servant and dear brother Mr. Jim Dickson was called into glory. He served as an elder at the Clover ARP Church for 50 years, Moderator of the General Synod in 1997, and a member of the Board of Trustees at Erskine College.
“Mr. Jim,” as so many knew him, was born in Clover, SC, on January 3, 1923. He was called into military service during World War II when he served as a radio operator in the South Pacific. Following the war he moved to Washington, D.C., where he attended law school at George Washington University. Upon graduation, he returned to Clover and practiced law for over 53 years.
He married his wife Mina in 1948, and they were married for over 64 years. Their love, faithfulness, and service to one another stand as a glowing example of the blessedness of a Godly marriage. Even in their last years together they could be found sitting side by side holding hands, talking, and praying with one another. Jim was the father of two daughters, Gail and Robin. He had five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
The greatest passion of Jim Dickson’s life was his love for the Lord Jesus Christ. He was born again on March 15, 1967, at the age of 44. He once wrote about his conversion, “I was seated in the choir loft listening to a young lady from Presbyterian College relate her very intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. While she was speaking, Jesus became real to me. I
was overwhelmed with a deep sense of the love of God for me. Tears began to flow from my eyes, and a release of peace and joy flowed through my body. I was being born again, passing from death to life, becoming a child of God… Jesus be- came a very intimate friend, and until this day I talk with Him all along the way and throughout my awakening hours.”
From that day on, Jim Dickson was on a mission to share with all who would listen of the love and joy that can only be known in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He was involved in numerous evangelistic crusades, local Bible studies and jail ministries; he visited 30 different countries on mission trips. He hosted a noon prayer meeting in his law office that met for an hour daily for over 20 years. His tender compassion in his zeal for evangelism is reflected in a few words from a letter he once wrote to a young man in prison, “I was 44 years of age before I realized I needed help. I found this help through the person of Jesus Christ… He is my best friend and I know He wants to be your friend also. I am praying for you.”
Jim Dickson longed for the day in which he would see his Savior face to face. That joyous day has now come. His life certainly echoed the words of the apostle Paul: “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far” (Philippians 1:21-23).