Spiritual Father. Faithful Servant.
Many of us came to church last Sunday morning expecting another sermon as usual but received the news that our founding father had gone home to be with our Heavenly Father. To our church family, this news brought a mixed bag of emotions. Some were grieving deeply. Some were reflecting on the time spent with and love imparted to them by Brother Dick. Some were sharing the sentiment that “I never got the chance to meet him, but I am eternally grateful for all that he did and the way he has impacted my life through his obedience to the Lord.” And some were feeling a bit unsure about how to even feel, or what Brother Dick even really meant to them.
Some of the longstanding elders, people who knew Brother Dick well and understood his heart for our church and for Our Father, took the opportunity to share who he was, his heart for God and His kingdom, and his heart for us- you and me. They shared that he was a man who truly had a father’s heart modeled after the Father’s heart for God’s people and His calling on his life. If you missed the service, you can watch it on the CBC app or by following this link: live.citybiblechurch.org
Brother Dick’s passion to become an active and faithful servant of God was birthed out of a prophetic encounter in his younger years. He laid claim to that prophecy and it birthed in him an extraordinary love for the church- for God’s family, “the flock.” He was filled with an innovative and fiery belief that the church really could be all Jesus said, and he had great faith that God would deliver the blessings He promised!
He began to break the mold and expand God’s kingdom in ways that were unusual at the time- spirit-filled worship, a Bible college in connection to the church, and plans for big campuses even after the city told him “we don’t want any more churches here!” But even in the midst of all of these big plans, Brother Dick’s heart remained for the church family. It was never about the biggest building or creating a state of the art institution. It was always about the people, and how if we were going to have more kids we were going to need more rooms!
Brother Dick placed a high value on family. He was intentional about carving out family time with his loved ones. And, he encouraged others to do the same. The value he placed on family transferred over to his church family as well. He was always concerned with making sure people felt that they belong and that this is their home, too. Everyone who knew him says “when he sat down with you, he was with you like you were the only person in the room.” The youth of the church were a priority for him, and he always took care to make sure they were being built up, taught, and loved well.
He is regarded as a man of utmost integrity, someone to be fully trusted and respected. Gentle and loving, he did not shy away from correcting wrongs. Many of his sentences began with, “the Bible says…” God’s word was paramount to him. The Bible is the cornerstone, as we can see in our church’s name, “City Bible Church”, formerly known as “Bible Temple.” He kept the Bible front and center in our name, to remind us to always be people of the word- to learn it, practice it, and live it out!
Brother Dick believed that worship was to be much more than a “platform presentation.” It was to be a “people participation.” He believed the word as it is written, that the Lord inhabits the praises of his people. Because of this, he decided to break the mold and encourage spirit-filled worship, a movement that caught some criticism at that time.
He believed in the prophetic and placed great importance on teaching us how to hear the voice of God and function in the gifts of the Spirit. This was, of course, rooted in the word, as Romans 10:17 tells us “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Through knowledge of the Bible, he led us to discern the voice of God and foster the prophetic ministry in the house.
First Corinthians 4:15 says, “For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” That is exactly what Pastor Dick Iverson did for our church. He became our father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. And we are so blessed, honored, and grateful for that gift of a father that God gave us in Brother Dick.
So, we know that the Bible tells us to honor our mother and father. As a church family, we want to honor our spiritual father, Brother Dick. We believe that one of the best ways to honor him is to continue the things that he was so passionate about. You can honor Brother Dick by:
- Getting into God’s word daily, knowing it, and living it out.
- Praying often.
- Participating in Spirit-filled worship.
- Carving out quality family time and making it a priority.
- Focusing on your marriage and making sure it stays healthy.
- Raising up the youth, teaching them and loving them well.
- Striving after and developing your ability to hear the voice of God.
- Moving in the prophetic.
If you feel led to send your condolences to the Iverson family, we would love to share those with them. We've setup a Facebook page that we invite you to share memories and thoughts on. Please visit the Pastor Dick Iverson Memorial page to post your message.
There will be a memorial service in Brother Dick’s honor on April 27th at 7pm. To RSVP and receive for the latest information on the location, please visit dickiversonmemorial.com.