Earl Dykema’s favorite Bible verse was Jeremiah 29:11—“I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.” After his mother died when Dykema was 8 years old, his father gave him advice that guided him over the years: “We don’t know why God took mother to heaven, but remember this: God makes no mistakes; God loves us too much to hurt us.”
“Earl believed that truth,” said one of his children, “and that his only comfort in life and in death came from Christ Jesus, his Savior and Lord—that was Earl’s identity.” Dykema, 90, passed away on March 1.
Ordained in 1954, Dykema began ministry at Wright CRC in Kanawha, Iowa. He went on to pastor Crownpoint (N.M.) CRC and then Beacon Light Community CRC in Gary, Ind. When he began in Gary, Dykema spent a three-month “sabbatical” working in a steel mill to get a better understanding of his new congregation. After serving Peace CRC in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, he worked for 16 years as a regional director for Christian Reformed Home Missions. He is remembered as having a heart for people who needed to hear the gospel.
Following retirement in 1993, Dykema wrote “Focus Your Ministry” for the Christian Reformed Board of Publications. An active member at Peace CRC, he led many classes over the years, including men’s Bible study a week prior to his death. He wrote the church’s weekly Prayer Page for at least two decades and was passionate in praying to God especially for the political condition of America. He volunteered at His Hands Free Clinic, a nonprofit that provides free medical, dental, spiritual, and other care to the uninsured in the community.
Dykema is survived by his three children and their partners, two grandchildren, and two great-granddaughters. He was preceded in death by Betty, his wife of 63 years.