Local businessman, judo instructor is now a pastor at Belfountain

December 9, 2015   ·   0 Comments

Sometimes, life can take you on multiple journeys, adventures and career paths, that both enlighten your life and allow you to impact the worlds and lives of others. For local resident Fred Dyke, that journey has now taken another incredible and unexpected step.

When he first came to the area in 1992, it would have been hard to predict the path he would be taking. Following a 15-year career in the banking industry and 12 years in the printing industry, Mr. Dyke took the plunge and launched a private consulting company designed to help businesses in management training, which took him all across North America.

At the same time he became heavily in- volved locally in Teen Ranch Canada, Compass Community Church, and eventually Good Friends Fellowship.

What he is known for most locally, how- ever, is his career as a judo champion who runs Dyman Judo Club in Orangeville. As a 5th Degree Black Belt, he has 30 to 35 students, aged 5 to 50, who train with him twice a week.

“I always had an interest in helping kids,” he said. “Judo was the first martial arts style designed as a sport to avoid hurting people. That being said, it is also the best self-defence. No kicking or punching; it’s very safe. And, out of all martial arts, it is probably the most challenging to learn. It’s not just a sport, but a lifetime way to live. Judo means gentle way.”

His involvement in the church started when he was a child, but it wasn’t until 1981 when he personally became a Christian and began to get involved more with local churches and organizations.

Although he began to slow down his business a few months ago, both because he wanted to stay local more often and was 65, he truly felt like things weren’t over for him yet.

“I put on a stencil in my bathroom the Bible verse Jeremiah 29:11,” he said. “I really wondered whether it applied to me. I’m only 65; life can’t be over for me.”

The verse was a promise God provided to Israel through the prophet Jeremiah, reminding them he had plans for their futures, even if they couldn’t see them yet. In the New International Version of the Bible it reads, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”

In April, Mr. Dyke was asked to fill in as a temporary speaker at Belfountain Village Church. Although he enjoyed himself, and loved helping out, he hadn’t foreseen that anything would come of it. However, the church expressed interest in him taking over the role of pastor during the summer, and he made the decision to move forward with them.

“I really believe God called me to do what I’m doing as the pastor now,” he said. “My wife, Judee, is leading worship there now too.”

Affiliated with the Baptist Convention of Ontario & Quebec, the church has a long history in the area, being started in 1885, with the building constructed in 1889. Mr. Dyke’s excitement to be part of a church with such a long history and foundation is evident when he speaks about this new venture.

Part of the reason he wanted to be more involved in ministry and spreading the message of Jesus Christ.

“Like everybody, you grow up and mould yourself over the years,” said Mr. Dyke. “Right now, Christians are the most persecuted group in the world. Canada and the U.S. were founded on Christ, but there is a big need for Him in the world today.”

He added that the culture nowadays sees people being conditioned to have everything be about themselves, and do it for themselves. He wants his loved ones and others to hear that message of love, and felt he could be one of the ones to do it.

“I’m not just in this for something to do; I’m doing this because something needs to be done [in the world] and someone has to do it,” he said. “Others are already doing it, and I can be a part of that.”

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