Dean Nelson: A Life Willing to Serve
Dean Nelson knew people.
He was always bringing people together, always introducing that new person in the fight for faith, family, and freedom that you didn’t know about but needed to. Always upbeat and on the move, he was a natural at connecting people and generous with his relationships.
This past Saturday, after a quiet and graceful battle with cancer, Dean Nelson went to be in in the presence of his Savior, whom he has so faithfully served. While this news is stunning and our hearts are heavy for his family and extensive network of friends, we can celebrate the homegoing of a dear brother who heard, “well done, good and faithful servant.”
Dean was part of the FRC family in many capacities throughout my time at Family Research Council. We were blessed to have him serve as our African American Outreach Coordinator, and we worked closely with him over the years through his leadership at the Douglass Leadership Institute, Human Coalition, and Wellington Boone Ministries.
Given his many ministries and initiatives, it is hard to imagine that his assignment on earth is complete; but his work was for the kingdom and sown into eternity. He poured into the lives of countless others, and we pray for those who will steward and carry forward the work God began through Dean.
We pray especially for his wife Julia and their three young adult children. What an incredible husband and father they will miss having in their daily lives. May they know the comfort that only the Holy Spirit can bring in these moments.
A couple of years ago when we were discussing Frederick Douglass on one our programs, I asked Dean to pray with me. Dean prayed:
“We thank you Lord for great examples, Lord, like Frederick Douglass, or George Washington, Harriet Tubman, and others, Lord, who were all imperfect people, but who dedicated themselves to you and to the cause at their time in their lives. Father, may they be an example to encourage us to live a life, Lord, that is dedicated to you, Lord — willing to serve others…”
I think we can without a doubt add Dean Nelson to that list of imperfect people whom the Lord used to encourage others to live a life dedicated to God.
Dean Nelson knew people. And now he knows face to face the one person whom his life most reflected. As we head into the Christmas season with this heavy on our hearts, how thankful I am for God sending His Son into the world to be with us, die for us, and giving us hope as He made a way for us to spend eternity in fellowship, worshiping the King of kings.
Tony Perkins is president of Family Research Council and executive editor of The Washington Stand.