Deacon Ordination Story
Deacon Ordination Story
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9 NIV). I can only wonder what exactly that calling is. It is through following Christ that I came to Christian Leaders Institute in search of better knowing Christ and making the best of being part of a royal priesthood. After a year of studying for an Associate of Divinity, I enrolled in the Deacon Minister Ordination class and this is my deacon ordination story.
My name is Justin Dillie, I am a father of three with another on the way. I have two daughters, Reanne and Nataley; and a son, Toby. My lovely wife’s name is Mindy. Together, we live in Grove City, Ohio, USA.
I grew up as an only child in the rolling Hocking Hills of Laurelville, Ohio. My parents didn’t attend church often. My dad never went to church unless there was a funeral. Mom, on the other hand, took me here and there. It was hard to get plugged into a church since gossip was a big issue amongst the older women and the youth just made fun of my weight and the clothes I wore. Sometimes, they were brutal. When I was ten years old, I played softball with the youth group, but everyone just made fun of my weight. It was hard to feel welcomed and loved.
As I got older, I surrendered myself to drugs and alcohol. It was clear that I had a problem. I found myself in trouble with the law when I got caught drinking behind the wheel and had to serve probation for a few years. During this time, I wasn’t drinking and drugging. Instead, I was keeping myself out of trouble. Shortly after turning 21, Nataley was born. I married her mother and shortly after we separated in 2010 when she found another man. When she left, I got reacquainted with Mindy, a girl that I had dated shortly after graduating high school. We married the following year, April 5, 2011, and we are still happily married today. Once Lily Ryan Dillie is born, our blended family will be five children strong.
When Mindy and I started dating, she kept telling me how she liked going to church in Grove City, OH. She kept pressing into me that we should go, together, as a family. But every time she would bring up the idea, I would respond with the idea that I didn’t like church people. Every now and then, Mindy would get me to go to a church service, but I would always point out how the pastor wasn’t preaching to my liking or they were just in it for the money or I didn’t feel welcome. Thinking about it now, even if the sermon was to my liking, I would have still found some poor excuse. The truth was that I was rejecting God. I was running from God and I thought I could just live how I wanted without Him.
My new married life was mostly full of joy and happiness. I had a great job as a union sheet metal worker going through their apprenticeship and I was drug-free. Life was good until a family issue came to light. My life went from great to being lost and with very little hope. I started self-medicating with alcohol and marijuana and began living a double life. I did what I could to keep a good image but soon enough I hit the bottom. I isolated myself from my family and was going to commit suicide one night. It was then, that God intervened. I had an urge to attend Easter service in two days. That Sunday, I surrendered myself to Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.
I realize now that God was patiently waiting for me all along. I don’t need a social approval rating from others to pursue the Lord. Refusal to seek His satisfaction is the biggest problem I ever faced. I spent a large portion of my life trying to find God in all the wrong places. I now have a powerful testimony to share with others. I can say, “I was there too and here is what God did for me and He will do the same for you.”
The free ministry and ordination training that is offered at CLI has been very formative in my deacon ordination story and my ministry future. Currently, I worship and serve at Crosslink Community Church located in Grove City, Ohio. I am one of the leaders for the men’s ministry and our safety and security team. I also serve the destitute. The training received from CLI and the ordination with Christian Leaders Alliance helps me serve in the capacities I do. I have a strong compassion for those in need and I believe God is calling me to serve them in the future. Along with the ministry training offered through CLI, I will be gaining experience by serving at soup kitchens and free stores and similar places.
I grew up learning how to live off the land. Mom and Dad owned ten acres of land in a small wooded valley and we farmed it. It was hard work, but I learned a lot and I loved that way of life. To this day I still garden. We live just outside Columbus, Ohio on a lot that is just under .2 acres and most of our yard (front and back) is garden. Due to this garden and reading Scripture, I have grown closer to God. It is through my gifted green thumb that I believe God is going to use me to feed many and share the gospel.
I ask that whoever reads this deacon ordination story prays for me and my future in ministry. That I hold strong in faith when the tests come and that everything I do is not my will but God’s.