Bishop Jack Dain, who has died at age 90, was a remarkable churchman and missionary leader. He was a world leader in evangelistic outreach and a confidant of Billy Graham.
After attending Wolverhampson Grammar School, Dain joined the Merchant Navy in 1927 and spent eight years travelling the world as a cadet officer. In 1930 he was converted to Christ in Calcutta and a deep commitment to missionary work was born. From missionary college in England he sailed to India with the Regions Beyond Missionary Union. He planned to go to Nepal but the country was closed to outside influence and he settled instead in Siwan Bihar. It was there at the language school that he met his first wife, missionary Edith Stewart, daughter of the Rev. Dr. Alexander Stewart of the Free Church of Scotland. They married at Lakhnadon in 1938. Dain was commissioned as a Lieutenant and served in the 10th Ghurkha Rifles and saw service in Iraq, Syria and Iran. He was transferred to the Royal Indian Navy in 1942 and was stationed in Bombay and Karachi. It was his expertise in Hindi that led to his transfer to Delhi where he was involved in the selection of officers for the three armed forces. He was then located to London to serve as the Naval Liaison Officer between the Royal Navy and the Royal Indian Navy. He was a Lieutenant Commander at the time he left in 1946. After the war he settled in London with Edith and their four daughters - Sheila, Maureen, Alison and Janet. Edith's health had prevented a return to India.
In 1947 he served as general secretary of Zenana Bible and Medical Mission, which for 100 years had sent out women missionaries to the Indian sub-continent. In 1952 the mission began to recruit men and both men and women were seconded to theological colleges, student work and to the united missions in Nepal and Afghanistan. Dain's experience, outstanding leadership and ability in selecting personnel enabled the mission to grow into a highly effective body. In 1947 there were 45 women missionaries and by 2002 there were almost 600 personnel engaged in cross-cultural mission. Dain was among those who laid the foundation for growth. From 1960 to 1977 he was chairman of its International Council and in 1977 was invited to become the international president as recognition of his leadership. He was an active member of many organizations including Scripture Union, Scripture Gift Mission, Keswick Convention, OMF, Billy Graham Organization and the Evangelical Alliance. But Interserve, as it became known, was the dearest to his heart. He prayed for its missionaries daily and wrote to many of them.
In 1959 he had been invited to become the General Secretary of the Australian Church Missionary Society. The society had grown after the war but was in poor shape. Archbishop Loane of Sydney recalled: "His vast experience was the secret for a radical restructure of the society." For five years Dain brought his personal style to the society and a training college was established in Melbourne. In 1961 he went to Canada as a representative of the society to a Pan Anglican consultation on the Anglican Communion's responsibility to South America. He reveled in the meeting, garnering statistics and outlining the structures that would be needed. Among those impressed with Dain's skill was Archbishop Hugh Gough, Primate of Anglican Church of Australia. Dain had been deaconed and priested in 1959 and Gough brought his name to the standing committee to be a bishop in Sydney. He was consecrated on April 20, 1965 in St. Andrews Cathedral Sydney. His outstanding administrative skills as well as financial acumen became quickly evident. He loved challenges in new fields of ministry. Archbishop Loan wrote: "He came to hold an even more influential place in the Diocese at the highest level. He was always thorough in his preparation for the major debates and his speeches were always weighted with the authority of well argued facts and figures." The awarding of an OBE in 1979 was recognition of the contribution he had made to church life. As far back as the days in London with BMMF in 1952, Dain was a confidant of Billy Graham. He planned Graham's visit to India and was closely associated with his worldwide ministry and was executive chairman of the Sydney Crusade in 1979.
In 1972 he had obtained permission from the Sydney Diocese to act as honorary executive chairman of the International Congress on World Evangelization planned for 1974 in Lausanne. The Congress was a Billy Graham initiative but it was John Stott, Leighton Ford and Jack Dain who were the key players. They were significant Christian leaders. It was Dain's unique cross-cultural experience, his reputation as a missionary and church leader that combined to make the Congress a reality. The wording of the Lausanne Covenant was a watershed for Evangelicals. It expressed a primary commitment to Evangelism and the associated commitment to social justice in service in the world. Tensions concerning the relationship between evangelism and social responsibility surfaced more strongly at the first meeting of the continuation committee held in Mexico City. Billy Graham favored restricting the commitment to Evangelism only. John Stott, in a gracious but firm intervention, pressed for both to be included. It was a tense encounter and Dain made a powerful and timely advocacy for the broader agenda. It was painful for Dain as he was one of Graham's close friends and later he wrote to him to assure him of his friendship and loyalty. Graham wrote back: "Nothing could ever come between us. I hope we can be next door neighbors in Heaven." Lausanne broke down barriers and created in many parts of the world a climate for new networks in Gospel ministry.
After Lausanne Dain returned to Sydney and resumed his ministry in the Diocese and retired from all of his commitments on his 70th birthday. Edith died in 1985 and later he married Hester Quirk, an Interserve missionary who had served as a missionary in both India and Pakistan. They made their home in Haywards Heath and later in Lindfield in West Sussex.
Dain had the great capacity to be a friend and pastor and he continued the influence of encouragement to people all over the world. He was a prolific letter writer and one thing that made him reluctant to die was that he would miss his friends.
It could be said that the die of Jack Dain's life was cast in 1927 when he turned his back on an academic path offered at Wolverhampton Grammar School and became a cadet in the Merchant Navy. At the age of 15 he explored the world and for 8 years he followed the main seaways. From the most impressionable age he saw the world very differently from the one he would have had if he had stayed in England. They were formative years and while he was in Calcutta his Christian faith was deepened into a personal commitment. Later while attending a CIM meeting he knew that a missionary vocation was the next step after his time in the Merchant Navy. He knew also that it was not to be China but India, and especially Nepal, if it opened to outside influence.
From Missionary College he went to India as a missionary in 1937 with The Regions Beyond Missionary Union and at the language school met Edith Stewart. They were married in Lakhnadon in 1938. When Japan entered the war, he joined the Indian Army and, commissioned as a Lieutenant, served in the 10th Gurkha rifles and saw service in Iran, Iraq and Syria. In 1942 he transferred to the Royal Indian Navy and was stationed in Karachi and Bombay. It was his knowledge of Hindi which led to his transfer to Delhi and his was the task of selecting officers for the three services. Then with the rank of Lieutenant Commander he served as the liaison Officer between the Royal Navy and the Royal Indian Navy in London. On his discharge Jack Dain had acquired an extraordinary range of experience. He was cross-cultural in his outlook from his boyhood. He had missionary experience in Bihar, India. He had vast experience in selecting personnel and he had acquired as a senior naval officer expertise as an administrator. All these experiences combined with his gifts were later on to mark him in the first rank of Christian leaders.
Because of Edith's health it was not possible for them to return to India and with their four daughters, Sheila, Maureen, Alison and Janet they settled in London. In 1947 he became the General Secretary of the Zenana Bible and Medical Mission. For 100 years it had sent out missionaries to India but with new social conditions in India it had to change. The Mission which only recruited women had 45 missionaries who worked with women and children. By 1952 the Mission was unrecognizable. Today BMMF or Interserve as it became known, has about 600 personnel in various parts of Indian subcontinent and the Middle East and the East. Jack Dain was in the centre of those changes. Yet it would be a mistake to think he did it alone. This exercise was the first indication that Jack Dain was essentially a team man and had developed a remarkable capacity to consult widely before he instituted any changes. Key people assisted him in the renovation of the Zenana Mission. Over the years his association with Interserve grew. He was both the International Chairman of Interserve as well as its International President.
In 1958 he came to Australia for a short visit to represent the Evangelical Alliance and BMMF. Shortly afterwards he was invited to accept the position of Federal Secretary of the Australian Church Missionary Society. He was ordained in 1959 and then sailed with his family to Sydney. The Society had grown but was in poor shape. The infighting between the state councils stifled necessary changes. Archbishop Loane said, " His vast experience was the secret of the radical structure of the CMS". St Andrew's Hall for training missionaries was established in Melbourne. Committees to be responsible for the ministry in different countries were based in Victoria and New South Wales. The CMS was changed for good and none of these changes were made without wide consultation. In 1965 he was invited to become an assistant bishop in Sydney by Archbishop Hugh Gough. It was a risky appointment. His experience had been largely in interdenominational circles; he had a minimum of experience of parochial ministry and this was a time when Australians were becoming conscious of the need for Australian leadership rather than appointing governors and the like from the United Kingdom. It stands to the great credit of Jack Dain's humility, preaching and leadership gifts that none of these things were impediments. Quickly he was accepted across the Diocese of Sydney. His skills as an administrator, his financial acumen and his drive meant that he quickly was recruited for many diocesan committees. He was very close to Archbishop Loane who wrote that "He was always thorough in his preparation for the major debates and his speeches were weighted with the authority of well argued facts and figures". He was a force in the Sydney churches and was active in Scripture Union, The Scripture Gift Mission, Overseas Missionary Fellowship, Evangelical Alliance, The Missions To Seamen, The Billy Graham Organization and Interserve. Interserve was to remain the closest of his concerns to the end of his long life. Over the years he had seen the godly leadership of some outstanding women in the Zenana Mission or BMMF or Interserve and he was a quiet supporter of the ordination of women to the priesthood.
Archbishop Loane said that "Jack Dain was always cheerful, buoyant, alert; as minister or missionary, always forward looking, not a visionary so much as a first-class statesman in the service of God's kingdom."
I have said that Jack Dain was a force. He was a dynamo, not only enjoying work but also creating it. He was a great achiever. Yet those of us who worked closely with him saw the flip side of this drive. Doors would bang as he moved around St. Andrew's House. He would leave messages that he had to see you as a matter of extreme urgency and then make an appointment a week later to deal with the matter. Or he would say that he could not understand the insensitivity of the archbishop in allowing him to carry so many administrative burdens. In due course the archbishop would relieve him of a substantial part of his duties and we would notice that by six months he had accepted even more responsibilities. Or on a memorable occasion he went on a Sunday night to conduct a Confirmation Service at St Andrew's Church, Roseville. He arrived with a few minutes to spare and the churchwardens were waiting to greet him and escort him to the vestry. He jumped out greeted the wardens and then as he went to the boot of the car to get his episcopal robes, he discovered that he had locked the car with keys in the ignition. He sprinted into the rectory garden and returned with a brick which he threw at the side window and retrieved the keys. The Churchwardens never forgot that Confirmation Service.
He was a clear and forceful preacher and always carefully prepared. He supported warmly evangelistic outreach and chaired the crusade committee which brought Billy Graham to Sydney in 1968. He had a deep commitment to Billy Graham and was released from his duties from time to time to assist in some of the Graham initiatives. His wife Edith had been a great partner in his many activities and near the end of his time in Sydney she died and a little later, his daughter Alison died after a long illness. He married Hester Quirk, who had been an Interserve partner in India and Pakistan. For over 16 years they enjoyed a happy and fruitful partnership in West Sussex.
David in the Psalms often symbolised the strength and sovereignty of God with the word 'Rock'. Perhaps David in his shepherd days knew that the best pasture grew in the shadow of a great rock. However when pursued by Saul, David found his safety in the great rocks of Engedi. God is our Rock for He is our Saviour. Men and women too can be like rocks. Peter was and his name change from Simon to Peter brought that into prominence. Just as God is our rock in a weary land so may a person be changed by God's Spirit and become a source of strength. And I want to say that many of us were glad to stand in Jack Dain's long shadow and we were invigorated and encouraged by the experience.
For my part one of my great privileges has been to work with him as a colleague and to be enriched by his friendship. He has been a wonderful friend who frequently encouraged me and my wife. Our 6 children regarded a highpoint in their early years the times when Jack and Edith would take them to a restaurant for a meal. He was very kind. I join you in thanking God for him and his remarkable life.
It was a great privilege to know and work with Bishop Jack Dain. When I served as coordinator and director of the Consultation on World Evangelization, sponsored by the Lausanne Committee, in Pattaya, Thailand, in 1980, Jack was a true mentor for me. Having been chairman of the Executive Committee of the Lausanne Congress of 1974 he was well acquainted with what I would have to do to coordinate the Consultation in Thailand. So he gave himself freely and unstintingly to advise and counsel me.
His personal friendship, his wise encouragement, and his deep love for the Lord all had a profound
influence on my life. I thank the Lord for the joy of knowing Jack Dain.
Here was a man of global influence and understanding, who might have been a UN diplomat, or a high-ranking military officer, saying that his greatest joy was to be a pastor to clergy! And that is the kind of personal, fatherly care he showed to me. As Elijah was to Elisha, and Paul to Timothy, so was Jack Dain to me. I shall miss his always asking in our frequent phone calls across the Atlantic, "And how is dear Jean? And Debbie and Kevin? And the baby?" Who will ask that now? And I will miss his cheery "every blessing" - the trademark sign-off with which he ended every call.
Yes, I will miss him. I am just so glad that I did not miss him in life. And I will seek to honor the gift he was, and the ongoing presence he is, by being to younger men and women what he was to me - a father in the faith - passing on to them what I learned so well from him - a longing for the church to be biblically based, to be concerned for the wider good and not for narrow groupings, and to know as he often told me, "You can lose by winning, and win by losing."
At the end of that last visit at his bedside I read to him Jesus' words: "other sheep I have ..." and Jack completed the sentence, murmuring, "...them also I must bring."
I will not have another father like Jack. I pray that I may raise up others sons and daughters who will be shepherds of the sheep as he was.
Postscript: Not long before Jack died Hester said a wonderful thing; she had read that as people prepare to die they become more their real selves. And she said, "There is a sweetness being revealed in him." It was, of course, his essential nature in Christ being seen. I recalled that on my last visit Jack and I had talked about heaven, and sang together the "Glory Song" ... "When by his grace I shall look on his face, that will be glory, be glory for me..." There was a smile on Jack's face, and I realized a glory was already shining through. In that moment Paul's words were coming true: "Even though our outer nature is wasting away ... this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory." So as he taught me so much how to live and minister, he also taught me much about how to die. The wasting is over. The glory will not fade away.
There was a sense of command about Arthur Jack Dain, a quality that all who knew and worked with him gladly recognize.
Early last November a phone call came from Janet Dain to say that she thought her father might not last the weekend, for he was sinking. I flew that night to England for a memorable last visit with him. He requested me to join with Bishop Reid in speaking at this thanksgiving service. I promised I would come, and with a twinkle in his eyes he warned: "If you don't, there will be an earthquake!"
Whether as military officer, missionary executive, churchman, bishop, or chair of so many councils and organizations worldwide, leadership was his role.
Are leaders born or made? In Jack Dain's case that perennial debate gives way to another question: what made him the leader he was?
The key is in the title of his memoirs:"I Rose and Followed, That Was All ...", words taken from a chorus he learned as a young man. Jack Dain became a leader by following the Greatest Leader. Like the centurion who came to Jesus he too was a "man under orders." And that made his leadership attractive.
Jack Dain was providentially shaped for leadership. In a God-fearing Wolverhampton home he learned early the Scriptures which later he would expound so compellingly. He was not without mischief ... his parents had to remove him from a Bible class for tieing together the pigtails of the vicar's daughter! Yet he also recalled a band of blind Chinese Christian musicians whose song "Must I Go and Empty-handed?" remained with him as a lifelong challenge to witness.
The call of the seas also was a call from the Lord. Joining the Merchant Navy as an apprentice seaman he sailed to thirty countries - surely a time when the seeds of a global ministry were planted. Once in New York Harbor he risked his life by diving into the water in an unsuccessful attempt to save a sailor who had fallen into the dock. It was also during his naval days that he made a personal commitment to Christ in Calcutta, and was called to missionary service at a meeting in Liverpool's Town Hall So, like those first fishermen by the sea of Galilee, Jack Dain, having traveled the oceans of the world, heard the call of his Lord, and "rose and followed - that was all."
But the "all" was to result in a life that would be tremendously varied, fascinating, and influential!
After a short pre-war missionary stint in India (during which he fell in love with and married a Scottish lass named Edith Stuart - romantically enough while they were watching fireworks celebrating the coronation of King George VI!) - he went into military service, surely one of the few who ever served as an officer both in the Indian Army and Navy! Interestingly enough, given current events, he fought in Iraq, leading Gurkha troops to occupy Basra!
Following the war Jack was recruited by the ecumenical pioneer Dr. J. W. Oldham, for a year-long position with the Christian Frontier Council, a remarkable group of lay leaders, who met to encourage each other in their public lives. Jack recalled that Dr. Oldham interviewed him over lunch at the Athenaeun Club. When Oldham, who was very deaf, asked what kind of Christian he was Jack had to reply in a loud voice: "I am an evangelical Christian!" Eyebrows were raised all over that sedate dining room!
This exposure, though brief, to leaders from varied walks of life, and many different strands of the church was a bridge to Jack Dain's lifelong passion for evangelical cooperation ... a commitment we here today honor ... recognizing that he "rose and followed ... that was all."
His following led him to three additional areas of his service: his leadership in the World Evangelical Fellowship; his long association with Billy Graham; and his significant role in the Lausanne movement.
From its early years he was involved with the World Evangelical Fellowship because, as he recalled "I had a passion for real fellowship ... to preach and believe in and work for the unity of all believers against the things that divided." So when the World Evangelical Fellowship was constituted in the Netherlands in 1951 Jack Dain was present. Indeed he and John Stott were sitting together when Stott opened his Bible to Philippians and read out Paul's words that were to become the watchwords of WEF: the furtherance, the defense, and the fellowship of the gospel. Stott dictated them, and Dain wrote them down. "He was the head, I the hands" as he put it.
Jack Dain became the Honorary Overseas Secretary of the Evangelical Alliance, and with John Stott the Honorary Co-Secretary of the WEF.
Again, he "rose and followed ... that was all."
That sense of partnership in the gospel led to another association. He was involved in inviting Billy Graham to Harringay in 1954, and organized the counselling for the Wembley Stadium crusade the following year.
During the Wembley week Jack met with Billy to advise on a possible visit to India. He took a white paper napkin, drew a map of India and marked the cities he suggested as strategic for the visit. He then accompanied the team for what he described as "an important milestone in the life and witness of the whole Christian Church in India."
In his memoirs he recalls the final night scene at Pallamcotta where he stood on the platform, beside Bishop Leslie Newbigin. Together they watched as the hundreds of people responding were brought into a large area, divided by men and women into groups of ten ... (sitting) in small circles with one counsellor in the middle together with a kerosene lamp and a large open Bible.
Those events began a lifelong friendship with Billy Graham and involvement in his ministry. He chaired the crusade in Sydney, and his personal influence helped to bring about remarkable inter-church cooperation. Through his leadership innovations also were made in the crusade set up - including announcements that those brought by friends were not expected to give to the offering (a bold step given the million dollar plus budget), and a follow-up scheme so effective that a year later eighty per cent of the Anglicans who went forward were involved in their local churches.
Bishop Dain also served for many years as chairman of the Graham Association in Australia, and often brought Bible studies at the Graham team meetings.
As Billy Graham said in a recent conversation: Jack Dain is one of the greatest Christians I ever met ... one of the best counselors I ever had.
I dare say that was because he "rose and followed ... that was all."
In the early 70's that trusted relationship also brought Jack Dain into one of his most significant responsibilities: the executive chairmanship of Lausanne '74 which brought more than 2600 participants to Switzerland in the summer of 1974 for a congress described by Time magazine as perhaps the most influential gathering of evangelical Christians ever to assemble.
Whether that was journalistic overstatement or not, the Lausanne Congress, the Lausanne Covenant, and the work of the Lausanne Continuation Committee, gave a strong impetus to evangelical cooperation and changed the conversations about world missions.
One of the lasting images of Lausanne '74 for many of us was the photo of Billy Graham and Jack Dain together signing the historic Lausanne Covenant. It is a fitting memory, for without Billy Graham's vision, organizational base and funding the Congress would never have been held. Likewise, without Jack Dain's expert and strong chairmanship, the Congress would never have come together as it did.
It was my privilege, as a relatively young man, to serve as chairman of the Program Committee, and as a member of the international planning committee. It was a diverse group with strong opinions! I was exposed there to Jack's incomparable executive leadership - an amazing ability to grasp a mass of detail while never forgetting the big picture ... an equally impressive capacity to keep up correspondence ...great wisdom in dealing with strong personalities and prickly issues ... a sense of dependence on God that brought a prayerful focus to all we did ... knowledge of people and churches and issues all over the world.
As a younger man what impressed me, however, was his genuineness and integrity as our leader. He could stand for what he felt was right, but always with respect for others. I recall a heated debate as to whether there should be a major session on the Holy Spirit and world evangelism. Some were very afraid the topic would divide the congress. Others, including myself and program director Paul Little were quite convinced otherwise. Jack, as an elder statesman, strongly supported us younger men, and a well-received session concerning the Holy Spirit was on the agenda.
Similarly when the Lausanne Continuation Committee first met in Mexico City to plan its future course, there was a strong disagreement. Some wanted the committee to focus on evangelism in a narrower sense. Others felt that the mandate of the Congress and the Covenant was to further the whole biblical mission of the church, in which evangelism is primary.
The debate was heated, the feelings strong. The Lausanne movement could have foundered at that point, if it had not been for the strength of resolve shown by Bishop Dain, among others. He said that if the committee were to retreat from the Congress mandate he would not be able to continue as chairman. It was a difficult stand for him to take, because at that point he was differing to some extent with his beloved friend Billy Graham. Later Billy himself graciously agreed with the majority decision to opt for the wider view.. Jack after wrote to Billy to assure him of his loyalty. In reply Billy wrote, "Nothing could ever come between us. I hope we can be next-door neighbors in heaven!"
To Jack Dain the chairing of the Congress and its aftermath was the "crowning experience" of his own long ministry. Within three months of the Congress invitations had come to him to speak at post-Lausanne follow-ups in thirty to forty countries. As never before Lausanne put him on the world scene. His place as a world statesman for the cause of Christ and the gospel was clear.
Just as clear were his hopes and prayer for the church as he expressed them to me last fall:
So we thank God today for Jack Dain, a leader who "rose and followed ... that was all."
Jack loved his Lord above all, and the work of ministry. But he also loved his friends and family. He was a man's man, and could hold his own on world affairs or Wimbledon! He was also a woman's man. He was as interested in talking to my wife Jeanie about her interests and family as in talking to me about ministry! The six women closest to his heart -Edith, his beloved wife for forty-seven years, and their four daughters, Sheila, Maureen, Alison, and Janet, and Hester his second wife who shared with him such blessed and happy later years his beloved second wife Hester - made his life complete! He could not have been the man he was without the love and support from both Edith and Hester.
I am sure they will be understanding if I say that Jack was also a father to me. He had no son, and in a sense I think we adopted each other when Edith in her last illness asked me to help take care of Jack when she was gone. It has been one of my greatest joys to have had that closer relationship for these many years. And so today I carry in my heart today both the pang of loss ... of knowing I will not hear him say "Every blessing" at the close of each phone call ... but also the joy and gratitude for having known him.
When I visited with him late last year, after we had discussed his international ministry I asked what had brought him the greatest joy in ministry. Without hesitation he answered, "My pastoral work as a bishop in Sydney. When I became a bishop I made a commitment to visit the home of all the clergy in my area once a year, and to have a meal with them". That was 107 parishes!
And when I asked his greatest regret he said, "I wish I could have done even more pastorally, in the spiritual care of my clergy."
Imagine, I thought: here is a man of global influence and understanding. He had the ability to be a high-ranking military man or diplomat. Yet his greatest joy was to be a pastor to clergy! That says something of the servant nature of his leadership ... the kind of shepherd he was.
Before I left for the airport that last morning I walked through the village of Lindfield to say goodbye to Jack and Hester goodbye. Along the path I opened my Bible to the reading of the day, which was Ezekiel's scathing description of the kind of shepherds who live off the sheep, not for them. "Woe to the shepherds who only take care of themselves" the Lord said. "I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable ...I myself will search for my sheep and look after them." (See Ezekiel 34:1ff).
As I pondered those words on my walk to Jack and Hester's house I came across a sign near the close where they lived, which said "Leading to Green Meadows." And in my heart I said "Thank you, Lord, for Jack, a shepherd, a true pastor, who has led so many to the green meadows of their spiritual home, and who will now soon be there himself!"
We had a final goodbye at his bedside. I read those words from Ezekiel, and added Jesus' own words about the good shepherd from John 10. When I came to the place where Jesus said, "I have other sheep which are not of this sheep fold ..." Jack broke in, and murmured: "Them also I must bring."
There was the voice of the true shepherd, the missionary, the bishop with a heart to lead like Jesus and to Jesus!
Then, in a final touch, as I was reading he looked at his watch and said, "Time to go to the airport!" He was "Jack" all the way. Still commanding! Still caring! And still leading on!
He rose and followed - that was all! And that has been enough!
But in the green meadows of God there is more still to come!
My friendship with Bishop (Arthur John) Jack Dain developed during the years in which he was my Chairman from 1963 until 1970. During those years I was General Secretary of Scripture Union. I worked with him also in the re-formation of the Evangelical Alliance of Australia and in the choosing of participants for the Lausanne Congress in 1974. During the years 1959 to 1965, Jack was Federal Secretary of the Anglican Church Missionary Society of Australia. He was invited to this position with CMS at a time when it needed new leadership and new energy. He worked tirelessly to reorganise CMS and gave it new vision and direction including the formation of a missionary training college based in the southern city of Melbourne. I was the inheritor of Jack's work by being appointed the Federal Secretary of CMSA some two decades later. Jack had a delightfully happy personality, was able to dedicate himself to the task in hand, no matter what other major issues were on his agenda and gave affirming support to people like me as a much younger man growing in leadership gifts. I give thanks to God for Jack's example of spiritual commitment and of hard work. He was a great leader and an encourager of others seeking to exercise a leadership role. Jack's wife Edith was a great supporter of him and given to praying for those with whom he worked, like me and my wife in our ministries. Edith's death in 1985 was a great loss, but we all welcomed Hester into the family some two years later and Hester gave Jack great support throughout these years.
Bishop Jack Dain was a pastor with a tremendous gift of encouragement. In June 1975, I spent several days as his guest in Sydney, Australia. It was a briefing time for me before assuming my ministry as executive secretary of the Lausanne Continuation Committee for World Evangelisation (the forerunner of LCWE). He was my interim chairman. As he shared with me his wealth of insight concerning the background to Lausanne, the expectations of the Continuation ministry, and a broad outline of my own responsibilities as executive officer, he sensed my problem. I was getting more and more anxious about the burden of administration involved in running such an international office from Nairobi, Kenya. Immediately Jack reassured me. He offered me the service of his own secretary who had worked with him on all Lausanne matters. He persuaded the Chuch Missionary Society of Australia to send Miss Patricia Newth as one of their missionaries to Kenya, to set up and run the Lausanne international office as my secretary. Our friendship over the years really began with this act of generosity on his part.
Although I have met and sat at the same table many times with my dear brother Jack, the picture that has imprinted foremost in my mind is the one of Jack Dain and Billy Graham putting their signatures on the original copy of the Lausanne Covenant at the conclusion of Lausanne '74, in Lausanne, Switzerland. For me that picture represents a pivotal turning point of the evangelical movement in the middle of the 20th century which none of us could and should forget.
No other event was and is mentioned by so many of Germany's church leaders as "Lausanne 1974." Others mention "Pattaya" or "Manila." Unforgettable were the board meetings of LCWE. I had the privilege of being on the board for many years. On the board Jack Dain's knowledge and wisdom was helpful on many occasions. We even discussed plans to visit church leaders in Germany. The idea was born after a longer conversation with Jack. Our subject at that time was "The faith and spiritual responsibility of church leaders." Jack was telling me about some of his special experiences in India. Over a period of time he visited Indian bishops and several church leaders. They did not only discuss the life of the church, blessings and obstacles, hopes and disappointments, but they spoke about their personal faith. Jack reported how happy these church leaders had been about these personal conversations. One said to him: "Who takes care of our faith? Whom can we confess our sins? Who is reminding us that Jesus promised forgiveness, if one confesses one's sins?" Our brother Jack was deeply moved when one day one of the bishops asked him to show him how he could live with Jesus. "I preach the Gospel", said Jack's colleague, "but I don't believe what I preach." Jack led this man to Jesus and new life grew from that moment in the diocese. Jack took care of souls!
One characteristic memory of Jack Dain was to notice him excusing himself from a group of conference speakers to give a warm word of appreciation to an unnoticed helper. The combination of personal humility and a close interest in each person he met was nowhere more evident than in his letters. In his own unique handwriting he conveyed a warmth and a concern for the practical details as well as the major spiritual issues. I first met Jack in the mid 1950s when I was an undergraduate and he spoke at a "missionary breakfast" in Cambridge. Humanly speaking, he was one of the main influences in my service overseas with BMMF (later Interserve), and that link became closer over the years. I was privileged to preach at the wedding of Jack and Hester in December 1986 and we kept in touch right up to the last few days of his life. Even in phone calls when he was so ill he would always send a personal message back.
I first met Jack Dain in 1958 while in England for the Lambeth Conference. Some months later he came to stay in our home during a brief visit to Sydney. This laid the foundation for a friendship which had special significance for me. It was to grow in strength and depth throughout the forty-five years that followed. When I became Archbishop in 1966, Jack was my closest colleague and confidante: no other non-family friend was a more frequent or welcome visitor to my home. I tried to tell the story of his life in my book Men to Remember and I do not intend to go into all the detail now. Suffice to say, in his early years he sailed the Seven Seas, then served as a missionary in N. India. Then came his war service, first with the Gurkha Rifles, then with the R.I. Navy. It was after the war that he took his place in the front rank of missionary leaders and I want to highlight the three major strands in his ministry hereafter.
We remember him for his role as a missionary statesman and strategist. In 1947 he became General Secretary of the Zenona Bible & Medical Mission. The ZBMM has a long and honourable history but was to be transformed under his leadership. Doors were opened for men, missionaries multiplied, Overseas Councils, developed into BMMF [Bible & Medical Missionary Fellowship]. Then in 1959 to his own great surprise he was appointed Federal Secretary of CMS [Church Missionary Society] in Australia. His arrival in Sydney brought a breath of fresh air into the stuffy halls of CMS. The Society had operated on a loosely organized federal basis for some 40 years, but each State Branch tended to act as a self-sufficient and independent unit. That would all change. Jack Dain really made Bishop Pain's dream come alive. The whole ethos of the Society was revolutionised with the Federal Secretary as its pivotal figure. New structures were put into place; new fields of work were opened in Peru and Nepal; St. Andrew's Hall was established; missionaries were fostered in the field and cared for on furlough.
We remember him for his zeal in evangelism carried out on the widest scale. Jack had joined the Council of the Evangelical Alliance in the early 50s and became Mission Secretary. He was closely involved from the outset with the Harringay Crusade in 1954 [Billy Graham's first crusade in London]. Then he was chosen to organize Billy Graham's visit to India in 1956. There were four major city Crusades. Jack paved the way for each in turn. A great experience which confirmed his flair for administration and his enormous driving energy. In Australia through BGEA his network of contacts and correspondence reached the ends of the earth. He won universal acclaim as Chairman of the Lausanne Conference in 1974. It was natural that he should be Chairman of the Executive Committee for the 1979 [Sydney] Crusade since he was as known and trusted by the Billy Graham Team as by Church leaders at home. Billy Graham himself held Jack in the highest regard and would like to have had him join the Team. One of Jack's great delights in old age was a yearly visit to Carolina to stay with Leighton Ford.
We remember him for his years of work as a Bishop in the Diocese of Sydney. It came as a shock when late one night a telephone call from Archbishop Gough woke him up. Clive Kerle had just gone to Armidale: the Archbishop wanted Jack to take his place. He was thunderstruck: could not believe it - but in the clear light of morning all was settled. He was consecrated on Easter Tuesday 1965 and began work in the southern part of the Diocese. He soon came to know the clergy, both in their homes and with their congregations. His warmth and friendliness made him easy to approach, someone in whom to confide. He plunged into a round of confirmations, numerous committees, a new role in Synod. He brought to each problem a strong practical grasp of detail as well as sturdy common sense. His speeches in Synod were always weighted with facts and figures. His last great service to the Diocese was to preside at the election of an Archbishop in 1982. Then, two weeks before his 70th birthday, he laid down his office and withdrew into retirement.
Jack was a family man to his fingertips: never happier than at home. It was at the Language School at Landour that he first met Edith Stewart. Her father was a leading minister of the Free Church of Scotland at St. Columba's Church in Edinburgh. So she was a "Wee Free": but she fell in love with a Sassenach and they were married in 1938. They were a devoted couple for 47 years: her death in 1985 left him desolate and forlorn, but twelve months later he married Hester Quirk, a long term BMMF missionary. This brought him great happiness and they made their permanent home in Sydney. But his essential Englishness led him to return to England and settle in Sussex in 1987. When his dearly loved daughter Alison died on this very day 10 years ago, it was a grievous loss, but the others rallied: Sheila from Sydney, Maureen from Auckland, Janet from London. He had renewed many old friendships and found fresh avenues of ministry. God gave him grace to live out his days and with his family to celebrate his 90th birthday.
Jack had two favourite characters in the Bible: one in the OT, one in the NT. The OT character was Caleb, who at 85 was as strong to go in and out as 45 years before. His faith and courage were undaunted: "Give me this mountain!" (Joshua 14:12). And the secret? So many others had failed; but Caleb "wholly followed the Lord". The NT character was Barnabas, one of the most attractive of the early disciples: generous; warm-hearted; one whose name and spirit stood for consolation and encouragement. He took up Saul when no one else dared; he stood by Mark when others turned him down. And the secret? "He was a good man, full of the Holy Ghost and of faith" (Acts 11:24). Jack Dain was just like that: a man like Caleb; a friend like Barnabas. All that Caleb was to Joshua or Barnabas to Saul, Jack was to someone like me. A very faithful friend; a godly and gracious fellow worker; the kind of man any man might wish to be. We think of him with great affectation and thank God upon every remembrance of him.
For some years after Lausanne II in 1989 the work of Lausanne in England was taken up by the Evangelical Alliance. However after a few years it was felt to be much more appropriate if there should be a specific Lausanne Committee which functioned in England. As Lausanne Senior Associate for Research it somehow fell to me to begin that particular process. I started by writing to Jack Dain and asking him if he felt that we should attempt to go ahead and received his strong endorsement that we should do so.
We held a number of meetings in order to think through what had to be done and Jack came to each one of these. He always spoke out in favour of the unique role that Lausanne could play not just worldwide but by bringing an international perspective to English Christianity also.
A Lausanne Committee was established in England and held a number of meetings, some of which touched on subjects no other group did.
We continue to have meetings which are steered by a small committee and at one of these after the main meeting when the committee held its deliberations, Jack had written to me in advance saying that he would like to take me out for a meal. At that stage he was already ill and having dialysis every week, he insisted not only on meeting with me but paying for the bill as well. He said "I want to encourage you in the work that you are doing. It is so important. We simply must learn what God is doing in other nations and apply that to British church life".
It would have been so easy for him to opt for a quieter life once he
retired, but he didn't. He kept on, and kept on keeping on, for the
ideals which drove him, and for the Christ who called him forwards. I
salute his memory and I hope that I might be able to encourage others as
he was willing to encourage me. It is not just what he said but what he
actually did that made the difference.
I first met Jack Dain when I was a young participant in the 1974 Lausanne Congress which he headed up. When, after the conference, I was appointed as a youth representative to the 50-person Lausanne Continuation Committee, I was deeply impressed by his leadership of that committee and empathized with his frustration during that first very difficult meeting when he struggled to keep strong-minded Christian leaders together.
As a young Christian I was looking for models and being so impressed by Jack, I asked his wife Edith how she and the family coped with his constant traveling. She looked me straight in the face unhesitatingly and said, “I can put up with all his traveling because I know that the children and I are a priority in his life and if we needed him he would leave everything to be with us”. It was rare to have a wife answer so confidently concerning her husband’s priorities and this had a long-lasting impact on me as I had seen many wives who were bitter and upset and felt second place to their husband’s ministries, not so Edith, not so Jack.
When I asked him the same question he told me that he wrote to Edith every night when he was traveling. In days before email this was a laborious task and I was amazed by the faithfulness of this great Christian leader to his wife and family.
Many will talk about other aspects of Jack’s life but to me the obvious integrity with which he managed to balance his worldwide commitments and his family life has left a lasting impression on me.
May God help me and many other Christian leaders to be as faithful to our families as Jack Dain was to his.
My friendship with Jack Dain went back to the late forties when we were on the British Evangelical Alliance Council. In 1951 we were at Woudschoten in Holland together when the WEF came into being. Then later we were involved together in the Lausanne Congress and subsequent Lausanne Committee.
Jack was a fine, impartial chairman, allowing everybody an opportunity to speak. He succeeded in steering the Lausanne Committee through the turbulent waters of its first meeting in Mexico. He was a confidante to many, who knew they could trust him.
I was a boy in high school when I first met Jack Dain. That was in the late 1940s or the early 1950s. He and Edith, his first wife, called at my father's manse in the village of Evanton in the Scottish Highlands. They had come from London, England, to the north of Scotland to visit the croft (very small farm) on which Edith's father - Alexander Stewart, who was a well-known Edinburgh preacher in the early decades of the century - was born. The croft was known as Tigh-na-Craig, which in Gaelic means 'the house of the rock', probably because it is located at the foot of a massive hill of granite. Tigh-na-Craig was situated some three miles inland from our home. I presume that my father took them there, and I clearly recall Jack and Edith visiting us afterwards for afternoon tea. At that time Jack was the General Secretary of the Zenana Bible and Medical Mission.
My next contact with Jack was in Lima, Peru, in the mid-1960s. By then he was General Secretary of the Church Missionary Society in Australia, and was visiting Peru along with Bishop (later Archbishop) Marcus Loane, as a fact-finding exercise prior to CMS Australia beginning mission work there. Dolina, my wife, and I were then serving the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Peru as missionaries of the Free Church of Scotland. I remember both Bishop Loane and Jack speaking to the students at Colegio San Andres (St. Andrew's College) which is still today run by the Free Church of Scotland, having been founded by Dr John A. Mackay (later President of Princeton Seminary) in 1915. Towards the end of their visit to Peru, Bishop Loane preached by interpretation in Iglesia San Andres, the church of which I was pastor, and came to our home for lunch afterwards. I remember the bishop saying that he felt more at home in the San Andres congregation than in any other he had visited during the visit to Peru.
I was unable to accept the invitation I received to attend the Lausanne Congress in 1974, so alas! I missed seeing Jack fulfil the key role he played in making that event - and the Covenant which it produced and affirmed - one of the definitive mission catalysts of the Twentieth Century. There is no doubt that his Chairmanship of the Congress and, later, of the Lausanne Committee, together with his involvement in the World Evangelical Fellowship, made Jack Dain one of the great mission statesmen of the last century.
My next contact with Jack was in the run-up to the second Lausanne Congress, held in Manila, Philippines, in 1989, and also during the congress itself. His advisory role at the congress as an elder statesman was very much appreciated by the Lausanne Committee, of which by that time I was a member. And in 1994 when I become Executive Chair of the Committee and on occasion would consult Jack, I always found his advice to be eminently sound and manifestly Christian. During that time the Lausanne Committee Trust was set up under English charitable law. Jack very willingly agreed to serve as a Trustee and invariably made a key contribution to the meetings of the Trust held by telephone conference call. And in later years I was always glad to get news of him from Elizabeth Dain, his niece who was one of my colleagues on the staff of the United Bible Societies.
Jack Dain was a faithful Christian who fully dedicated to the service of the Lord and to the mission of the Church, those outstanding gifts of energy, vision, strategy and leadership which God had, first, bestowed by nature and, later, quickened by grace. The world - which, like Wesley, he made his parish - was spiritually enriched by Jack's presence and is much the poorer for his passing. Of course, we do not for a moment begrudge him his great reward of seeing the face of God and worshipping the Lamb seated at God's right hand. But we do miss him deeply, and we thank God for every memory of him.
The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it (the New Jerusalem), and his servants will worship him; they will see his face and his name will be on their foreheads. And there will be no more night; they need no lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they shall reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 22.3-5)
I never knew Bishop Dain as the powerful influential man of the Lausanne Committee or his leadership in BMMF (later to become INTERSERVE) or who had such a significant role in world evangelization movements as he is portrayed in much that is said about him in these pages. I knew him as a gentle gracious person who loved Jesus with all his heart. I never knew Edith but loved and appreciated Hester for her Godly wisdom and special love for the work of God and support of her husband. I so appreciated her loving kindness always expressed to my wife and me.
I was appointed Executive Director of InterServe USA in 1986. One of the first communications I received from overseas was a note from Jack welcoming me into the fellowship and promising to pray for us in the ministry. He came several times to our Annual InterServe conferences and was the Bible teacher on each occasion. During one of the times, I announced the launching of our PartnerSeed initiative of creating an ongoing fund, whose proceeds would supply the administrative costs for all our workers. I suggested that if everyone on our mailing list gave $60.00 per year the goal could be met easily. Jack and Hester were so encouraged by the idea that they were among the first to give to the initiative. They sent $60.00 each year right up until the time of his death.
When my wife and I traveled overseas through London, Jack and Hester would
regularly come to the airport for fellowship during our layover, we had
prayer and they encouraged us in the work. It seemed that, whatever they
were doing, they were never too busy to take time out to come and be with
us. They were truly a prince and princess among us.
Anglican Media is sad to announce that Bishop Jack Dain, a former Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Sydney died in London yesterday.
Bishop Dain was consecrated bishop by Archbishop Hugh Gough in 1965. He was an assistant bishop for Archbishop Marcus Loane and chaired the election Synod that elected Bishop Donald Robinson as Archbishop of Sydney. He retired in 1982 and for some time was the General Co-ordinator of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelisation (LCWC) when he was based in the Sydney office of the Billy Graham Association as well as spending four months each year at the LCWC office in London. From 1959 on Bishop Dain was very active in the work of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, both internationally and here in Australia. He was a world leader in evangelistic outreach and widely known by leaders of many evangelical churches.
He was born in Wolverhampton, England and educated at Wolverhampton Grammar School. After leaving school he served as an Officer in the British Merchant Navy and after that entered the Missionary Training College in London. He then served as a lay missionary in North India.
At the outbreak of WWII he enlisted and served in the 2nd Battlion of the 10th Gurkha Regiment. He saw active service in the Middle East serving as Adjutant of his Battalion. He was seconded to the Royal Indian navy serving there for 5 and a half years, rising to the rank of Lt Commander.
After the war he continued his missionary service and in 1959 he became Federal Secretary of the Church Missionary Society in Australia.
When he retired Archbishop Donald Robinson wrote in Southern Cross, "I could speak of Bishop Dain's enormous help to me personally during the first six months of my time as Archbishop, but I would like rather to say that I believe his contribution to this diocese over 17 1/2 years has been unique and of far reaching benefit. Bishop Dain is the only bishop to have assisted three archbishops. He has a very great capacity for work, and for administrative organisation. The building of St Andrew's House and the structuring of the Diocesan Secretariat owe much to his leadership. His world missionary vision and zeal for evangelism have been injected into our diocesan life. He has never lost his touch with naval discipline and procedure, and his interests have appropriately included the Missions to Seamen. The presence of the NSW Police Commissioner, Mr Cecil Abbott, at this farewell was testimony to the impression he has made within the Police Force in the comparatively short time he has been Chaplain."
The Bishop's funeral service will be held in London and there will also be a memorial service there, which will be attended by Bishop John Reid, a very close friend, and also Leighton Ford.
A memorial service will also be held in Sydney so that members of the Diocese of Sydney and representatives of the organisations in which Bishop Dain was involved will be able to rejoice that the Lord's servant is now in the presence of his Master.