MINNEAPOLIS, MN (June 23, 2018) – Dave and Kathy DeVries, who have served Covenant ministries for more 50 years, were honored this morning at the 133rd ECC Annual Meeting with the T.W. Anderson Award. The award is presented to laypersons for outstanding leadership in the church.
The award is named in honor of the Covenant’s longest-serving president, who was also a layperson. The denomination has given the award since 1985.
The couple has ministered through the KICY radio station in Nome, Alaska; Covenant camps across the country; and in their local congregations, including Anchor Covenant Church in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, which they helped plant.
Dave has degrees in electrical engineering and broadcasting, and the couple initially were set to travel to Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) to help start a radio station there in the mid-1960s, but those plans changed due to the violent uprising there. Instead, they moved to Nome to work with that radio station full-time in 1967. Each of them had previously ministered there as summer interns.
The one thing we consistently want to share is that God can use ordinary people.
Their lives have been characterized by a willingness to do any job and welcome everyone. A former KICY employee who nominated the couple, said, “Dave and Kathy wore many hats as personnel changed and needs arose. Programming, sales, disc jockey, news, assistant station manager, fill-in general manager, building maintenance, vehicle operation, program screening, volunteer, coordination, financial management. You name it, over the years, they most likely did it.”
After working at the station for 15 years they felt God calling them elsewhere, which turned out to be Twin Lakes Christian Center in Manson, Iowa, where Dave served as executive director starting in 1982. He went on to work as an administrator at Alpine Camp and Conference Center in Blue Jay, California; and at Covenant Harbor in Lake Geneva.
Until recently, they have spent almost every vacation at Covenant camps, where they volunteered for two to three weeks doing any job that needed to be done, whether cleaning toilets or sewing curtains for every camp they visited. “I think of all my years as I look back, the most fun things have been when we’ve volunteered at these camps,” Kathy said in an interview.
The couple met in high school. “Yes, we were high-school sweethearts,” Kathy said laughing. Ever since living in a way that has been a model to others, friends said, “Dave and Kathy epitomize married couples who encourage each other in their love and service for God and who live a life of service as a team.”
“It’s been a life of variety,” Kathy said. “The one thing we consistently want to share is that God can use ordinary people. We also want to encourage them to not be afraid to enter into new situations because we have been totally blessed by that.”
Upon receiving the award today, Dave said, “We are encouraged by all those who have been gone before us, who have encouraged us in our walk and in our service.”