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Meet Our Members: Hank and Jackie Dahl

Hank and Jackie each individually moved to North Carolina a couple years before coming to Western Avenue at the end of the 1980s. Jackie had come to Christ under Jack Graham at West Palm Beach Baptist in Florida and Hank at Forked River Baptist in New Jersey. Shortly after each of them came to Christ in their mid-twenties, God moved them each to Statesville. Both had been looking for a church that accurately handled the Word of God and had a body that was eager to grow and serve the Lord. They found exactly that at WABC. 

Each were led to WABC by members of the church. Philis Joyner invited Jackie in 1987 and Hank was invited by Brian Greene, Jennifer Morrison (then Dailey) and Jennifer Jones (then Wheeler) to come check out their youth group. Hank visited the Singles class led by Rusty and Betty Jo McLelland, and Jackie was filling in for Betty Jo that week as the teacher. After hearing her teach, he knew that they had a similar mindset spiritually, and when you couple that with her sheer beauty, the pursuit was on, and so was a wedding. 

Hank and Jackie married in March 1992 and then had two children, Jessica in 1993 and Andrew in 1996. Both have fortunately grown up in the children’s and youth programs here. Jessica is now married and living in SC, working for an online public school system as an administrator and project coordinator. Andrew is in his last year of college and will graduate in May with a Mechanical Engineering and Physics degree, and a minor in math.

Jackie became a believer when she was 22 years old. She had very little church background, as her family did not attend church. She had friends growing up who she would occasionally go to church with, and when she did attend would feel pulled toward God, but never committed her life to Christ. While in her twenties, she became very discouraged with life and began searching and writing letters to God – asking if He was real. She asked questions to other family members who were Catholic and asked questions to the Jehovah Witnesses who would come to the door, all the while writing letters to God asking him for the truth. One day her best friend called and said she would be going to church with her mom and giving her life to Christ! What?! She asked if she could go too. Two weeks later she went to First Baptist – West Palm Beach and after attending for a month, she knew she found Truth in Jesus Christ and gave her life to Him in November 1984! She has been living for him ever since!

Hank made a commitment to Christ at a young age when his parents Pat and Henry came to Christ during the Jesus Movement in the 70s. After years of not knowing what or why he believed, which led to a life with both feet in the world, he genuinely committed his life to Christ at 23. After this, all the head knowledge he had about the things of God made sense and God laid on his heart that there were so many other youth who did not know what they believed. He committed his life to serving God by discipling youth. Thirty years later this passion still burns to grow in Christ to be able to give Him to others.

The Dahls have been working in youth ministry for years and are excited that Western Avenue has gotten behind the ministries they do, formerly Young Life and now for the past eleven years as mission trip leaders in the Royal Servants division of Reign Ministries. Currently they lead summer long trips of students to Nepal while speaking at many churches and schools around the US. The Dahls lead several discipleship groups here in Statesville. They have been firm believers that you also serve in your church and have had their “socks blessed off” by being able to serve in the youth department going back to Phillip McGaha’s leadership and now, love being under former students that Hank worked with, Mark Collins and Greg Mathews. Western Avenue gives them an awesome platform to share Christ and disciple students. They feel encouraged for the future of the Youth Ministry at WABC.

Being in the youth department, they have enjoyed serving with others from Western Avenue in Venezuela missions, London Bridges and Kairos prison ministry. Jackie participates in David Moss’s Sunday school class and leads a Bible Study with her co-workers on Wednesday nights. They are doing a Beth Moore Study on the book of James right now.

The Dahls feel they have not only been privileged to be able to serve at Western Avenue for many years now, but they have been able to be fed under leaderships that have a conscience to handle the Word of God accurately. They have developed deep friendships and are part of an active body that seeks to know God and make Him known.

Posted by Meredith Collins at 7:00 AM
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