The Board of General Superintendents requests this Twenty-seventh General Assembly of the Church of the Nazarene to join us in a salute to
DR. JAMES H. DIEHL
We do this in recognition of his 50 years as a faithful minister of the gospel and in sincere appreciation for his 16 years as general superintendent in the Church of the Nazarene. Upon the occasion of his retirement, we honor him for a distinguished ministry of fruitful service to Christ and the kingdom of God.
James Harvey Diehl was born in Des Moines, Iowa, and grew up under the tutelage of godly parents, Don and Della Diehl. They taught him the Word of God and modeled Christian integrity through their faithful lives as dedicated lay persons. Molded during his formative years by the holiness lifestyle of the Diehl home and an early personal surrender to Christ as Savior, his heart proved to be fertile soil for God's call to Christian ministry.
Dr. Diehl was ordained an elder in the Church of the Nazarene on the Iowa District by General Superintendent Hardy G. Powers in 1960. At the center of his heart is a love for people and for ministry. He first demonstrated this as a pastor at Oskaloosa, Iowa, First Church and Atlanta, Georgia, First. While at Oskaloosa he conducted live radio programs for seven years and led his church to develop a weekly television broadcast.
His ministry gifts also led him to deeply impact the MidAmerica Nazarene University community, where he was Assistant to the President. Additionally, he served very effectively for a decade as district superintendent in Nebraska and in Colorado. At the Twenty-third General Assembly at Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1993, he was elected as general superintendent. Prior to his election he was the senior pastor at First Church of the Nazarene in Denver, Colorado.
Dr. Diehl has authored numerous articles that have appeared in the Herald of Holiness
, Holiness Today
, Preacher's Magazine
, World Mission
, The Holiness Digest
, and other publications.
He has a great love for education. He is a 1959 graduate of Olivet Nazarene University, and in 1990 Northwest Nazarene University conferred on him a doctor of divinity degree in recognition of his outstanding achievements. He has served on the Board of Trustees at several institutions of higher education including MidAmerica Nazarene University, Nazarene Theological Seminary, Nazarene Bible College, and Northwest Nazarene University, where he also served as chairman of the Board of Regents.
Jim Diehl married Dorothy Ann Stanley in 1956. They have devoted themselves to a lifetime of ministry that has required traveling hundreds of thousands of miles to serve the worldwide Church of the Nazarene. Dr. Jim is grateful to God for the privilege of doing Kingdom ministry in 105 nations of the world.
The Diehls were blessed with four children: Jodi, Jim, Don, and David. Their seven wonderful grandchildren and one great grandson are the joy of their lives. In June of 2008 the Diehl family walked together through "the valley of the shadow of death" as Jim and Dorothy's youngest son, David, passed away after a valiant battle with cancer. The global Nazarene family wept with them and at the same time celebrated David's life and ministry.
Those who know Dr. Diehl recognize him as an encourager of people and a preacher of the Word of God with outstanding insight and practical application. A sense of humor and love for people are clearly evident in his preaching, and his gracious approach to the lost and the broken has inspired all of us to emulate his lifestyle of witnessing. His heart beats ardently for evangelism, missions, youth, families, and the communication of the Spirit-filled life to people of all ages and cultures.
Dr. Diehl, we honor you as one of the outstanding holiness preachers of the Church of the Nazarene. Your wit, humility, eternal optimism, and gripping stories have endeared you to all our hearts forever! Along with your perceptive mind, God-given wisdom, and spiritual fervor, a unique openness has been the hallmark of your administrative style, making you approachable by all. To know you, Dr. Diehl, is to be acquainted with the sound of laughter and the warmth of sincere counsel.
For these and numerous other significant reasons, our entire denomination expresses deep gratitude and profound appreciation for the exemplary life and ministry of James H. Diehl.
THE BOARD OF GENERAL SUPERINTENDENTS CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE