VERSAILLES — Nick Dimmick became pastor of the Versailles Christian Church nearly a year ago, and is pleased with the way things are going there.
“I had been a fill-in pastor at Versailles since February before I was named pastor in March,” he said.
His father-in-law, the Rev. Kim Katterheinrich, served as pastor there from 1977-96.
Yes, Dimmick married Katterheinrich’s daughter Jennie, a 1992 graduate of Versailles High School, 20 years ago, and they are the parents of six children, Emily, 18 and a freshman at Spring Harbor University; Callum, 16; Katy, 15; Carrie, 9; Allie, 7; and Lillie, 5.
“We had our first three kids quickly,” Nick said. “In, 2010, we started foster parenting, and the three little girls came to us in July 2015. They lived with us for a year and a half and we adopted them in November. They’re all half-sisters.”
He said his wife was always been interested in adoption.
“My father-in-law was adopted,” Dimmick said.
The Dimmicks met the first week of college and graduated together in 1996.
“We were both at Hope College in Holland, Michigan,” he said. “We met the first week of school and were in some classes together. After college, I became a youth pastor for St. Paul Evangelical Reformed Church in Piqua, and she had moved to New Knoxville with her grandmother and was teaching. God brought us together again. I proposed to her on our second date. I knew her pretty well.”
They were wed in July 1977.
In his 20th year as pastor, Dimmick received his religion degree and his wife majored in math and had a minor in English with the hopes of becoming a missionary to Romania to work with the Tanners [Bruce and Sandie, formerly of Darke County who run an orphanage there], but health issues kept her from doing that.
“God started moving in me as a sophomore in high school,” he said. “I preached at my home church. I was attending college to be an engineer. Then, I worked at an inner-city mission in Philadelphia, and went back the next summer. God made it clear to me I wouldn’t be an engineer.”
He said his focus has always been on young people.
“We have a separate children’s ministry that happens during the morning service in the basement,” Dimmick said. “Our kids love being here.”
Dimmick, who hails from Wisconsin, worked in Piqua for three years, then went to Toledo for a year and a half, was at Michigan for nine years and lived in New Knoxville three years while he went to seminary.
The Versailles Christian Church has an average attendance of 125.
Russell Wulber is volunteer youth pastor, and Dimmick’s wife is doing the secretarial duties until the church gets a new secretary.
“This week was the beginning of a new ministry for us,” Dimmick said. “It’s known as Outposts, where we have smaller group meetings in three homes. It is a smaller version of the large church focused more on relationships with others. Our church is the embassy of the kingdom and we send smaller groups into the frontier. They may reach out to the neighborhood, school or special groups of people to expand the kingdom of God.”
Youth Ministry 180, he said, meets on Wednesdays.
“We intentionally simplified a lot of stuff for this new initiative,” said Dimmick.
The pastor said he preaches through books of the Bible.
“I spent four months on Philippians and now am on the book of Mark, which I will probably finish in 2018,” he said. “I explain text. I’m more like a teacher than a preacher. For a year, I taught religious classes at Edison.”
Services at Versailles Christian Church last 1 hour, 15 minutes, and the sermons last 40 minutes.
“We have a very relaxed, casual service,” he said. “Music is led by a band. Everything is casual and there is a lot of laughter. We have a good time together. The atmosphere has changed much.”
One of the church’s next activities is its annual prom for special needs adults on May 5 at Versailles School.
The Dimmick family loves to be outside, whether it be canoeing or kayaking, hiking and exploring or having people over at their house and being hospitable.
“We like to gather people, walk around town, go to the park and let the kids play,” said Dimmick, who also noted he loves photography. “I love being in Versailles and getting to know the town and the people in church. The growth I’ve seen in our leaders has been encouraging over the last year. We’ve been in a rebuilding stage, laying a foundation and people are receptive.”
He indicated that his wife didn’t know very many of the people of the church when she returned with her husband to serve in the pastorate.
Her father has been a guest speaker at the church a couple of time, and he, too didn’t know a lot of its current members.
“He was really nervous,” the minister said of his father-in-law.
After leaving Versailles Christian Church, Katterheinrich became pastor of the Redeemer Church in Hamilton, where he served another 19 years before retiring in 2015. His wife, Sharon, is a retired teacher.
This writer may be reached at 937-569-4315. Follow her on Facebook and join the conversation and get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.