Writer: Karen Hulvey, Columbia Metro Baptist Association
By formal proclamation of the mayor, March 24 was William P. Dieckmann Day in the city of Columbia.
It was the day Columbia Metro Baptist Association celebrated Dieckmann’s retirement after 40 years of ministry, including 28 years at the association, the last 13 years as director of missions.
The day began with a surprise visit from his sister and concluded with a retirement banquet at Columbia First Baptist Church.
The celebration included worship, fellowship, and surprises for Dieckmann, his family and friends, and nearly 200 church leaders and special guests.
Dieckmann’s son, Phillip, opened the evening in prayer, which was followed by music by the worship band of Fresh Church, Dieckmann’s home church.
Greg Dowey of Fresh Church was the master of ceremonies for the evening, and guest speakers included Jim Apple, a friend and prayer partner of Dieckmann, and Janey Colmorgan, founder of Takeaway Ministries, who names Dieckmann as a mentor.
Special music was presented by the traditional-costumed choir of the Columbia Burmese Church. Dieckmann was presented awards and gifts of appreciation from Glenn Creel, executive board moderator, on behalf of the association, and Wayne Terry on behalf of the South Carolina Baptist Convention.
The biggest surprise of the evening was the presentation of a joint resolution from the South Carolina House and Senate, followed by the presentation of the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina’s highest civilian honor, awarded by the office of the governor. Both presentations were made by state Rep. Chip Huggins, a longtime friend of Dieckmann.
The evening was closed in prayer by Andre Rogers of Concord Fellowship Church, a member of Columbia Metro Association’s staff.
Dieckmann’s retirement, which will begin at the end of May, will give him more opportunities to spend with his three grandchildren and to continue building his coaching business.
(Photographs by April Adams, Columbia First Baptist Church)