By Lewis Willis
On November 3, 1990, Emrold Aaron Dicus, affectionately known as “Dike,” finished his journey in time. His funeral service was conducted on November 7, 1990 at the building of the Lorain Avenue Church in Cleveland, Ohio. The building was filled with his family, brethren, business associates and friends. Interment was at Sunset Memorial Park. Ed Holcomb and I spoke at his funeral.
Dike was the oldest son of the late A.W. Dicus. His father was widely known as a preacher, educator and songwriter. Much of A.W.’s preaching was done in his home state of Indiana. He was an administrator with Florida College in its early days, and he was the inventor of the automobile turn signal indicator. But, A.W. was probably best known as a songwriter. He wrote several songs, but the best-known are probably “Our God, He Is Alive” and “Lord, I Believe.” Several of his songs were sung at Dike’s funeral.
Dike was baptized by the well-known Indiana preacher, J.C. Roady, at the age of 12. He was baptized at the Lincoln Street Church in Bloomington, Indiana. He was a Christian for 65 years.
Dike had two younger brothers, David of Chattanooga, TN, and James of Agoura, CA. When A.W. died, Dike more or less picked up the mantle of leadership and exerted strong direction for the family. His father had stressed education to his sons, and they listened.
Dike graduated from Purdue University in 1936 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He was something of a “throw back” to an earlier time. He was a full-time gospel preacher who supported himself. Most of the preachers of the generations before him were farmers who preached. (It is probably more accurate to say that their families were farmers and they were preachers.) Dike was an engineer who preached.
He had many titles at Anvil Industries in Cleveland. He was Engineer, Chief Engineer, Vice-President in charge of Engineering, President, Corporate Vice-President and a Director of Anvil Industries. He retired in 1980, though he continued as a consultant to the Corporation until his death. I said in his eulogy, “I suspect he did more preaching than any other Mechanical Engineer in history! Or, did he do more Mechanical Engineering than any other preacher in history?”
When he and Martha moved to Cleveland, they attended the West Side Church. During that time, he did a lot of “fillin” preaching. When the church meeting at Warren Road and Detroit Avenue was established, he began “full-time” work as their preacher. That congregation is now known as the Lorain Avenue Church and Dike was the only preacher they have ever had. His work with Lorain Avenue covered a span of approximately 43 years. He never received full support for his preaching work with the Church. Only in the last few years did he accept any support, and that was only after the church insisted that he do so.
Not only did he preach for the congregation, but for the last several years of his life he served as an elder of the church. He is held in highest regard by brethren throughout this region for his service to God and his people. Only a man of such strength could have successfully carried the burdens of husband and father, a secular job, preaching and serving as an elder at the same time. He was a truly unique individual. In his “spare time” he pursued his hobbies of raising flowers and cabinet making. With his “much patience” he almost hand-made two Grandfather clocks, several tables, a cradle for his grandchildren and many toys.
He and Martha (Hewett) were married in her parents’ home in Marion, Indiana on June 11, 1939. They celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary with a host of their family and friends on June 11, 1989. For over 51 years they exemplified what God intended marriage to be. The “home” was one of his favorite subjects. His mission was to keep the home intact, sacred and full of love. Building on that foundation, he knew the church would maintain its purity and harmony. Some of his greatest preaching was on the home.
Dike and Martha had two children, John and Debbie (Mrs. Ervin Jones), both of whom live with their families in Cleveland and attend the Lorain Avenue Church. John is now one of her elders. They were proud of their children and grandchildren, Christopher, Lisa, Sarah and Rachel.
His concern for the Lord’s cause in Northeast Ohio was genuine. He had spent his life promoting Christ and his Church. He constantly urged preachers to “stick with the basics” and “fight digression.” He knew how and when to be firm. He was esteemed very highly in love for his work’s sake (1 Thess. 5:13).
At his funeral I said, “When I pillowed my head last Saturday evening after learning of Dike’s death, it occurred to me that our world is a lonelier, sadder, poorer place now that he is gone. It is now time for those of his generation who have served God so faithfully, to go home. A.C. Grider is gone! Harry Pickup, Sr. is gone! And, E.A. Dicus is gone! May God help us.”
If you would like to communicate with Martha and the children, you can contact them at: 4641 West 210th Street, Fairview Park, Ohio 44126 (phone: 216-331-6362). We express our deepest sympathy to this good family.
Guardian of Truth XXXIV: 24, p. 752
December 20, 1990