CHC’s executive pastor will return home to care for his ailing mother.
After 15 years of service at City Harvest Church Singapore, executive pastor Derek Dunn will be returning to the United States to care for his mother, who is currently in poor health.
It has been a very difficult decision, both for Dunn and his Singaporean wife Susan, who will be relocating to the US with him and their three children, and for the church leadership. But after months of attempting and considering every other solution, both sides agree that the imperative issue is Dunn’s mother gets the best care right now, and he needs to be there to ensure that.
“My mother was the one who raised us to be strong Christians,” says Dunn. “My brothers and sisters have tried to help her, but I’m the one closest to her, and being a pastor, this is something I have to do for my mom at this time. We really tried to work out another way—the easiest for us would be to just go there several times a year, but after looking at the state my mom is in, and how much disrepair her house is in, it’s just not possible for me not to be physically there.”
This is a decision the Dunns have come to after months of prayer and discussion with Kong Hee, senior pastor of City Harvest Church, and his wife Sun. “It is a very, very hard decision for us. But the Bible says, if we honor our father and mother, things will go well for us. Now is the time for Derek to take care of his mother. Anyone who remembers her will know she’s a sharp, beautiful woman. She needs to get well.”
Dunn has been in full-time ministry since 1993. He is originally from the United States and grew up in a strong Christian family. He went on his first mission trip to Haiti after graduating from high school at the age of 18; he received a call to ministry and enrolled in Bible College. Upon graduation, he traveled extensively as a full-time missionary throughout Southeast Asia for two years, before joining City Harvest Church Singapore in December 1995. In his years with CHC Singapore, Dunn has been instrumental in running the pastoral office, the usher ministry of the church, and the expatriate fellowship for members from other countries. He has also been one of the key lecturers at CHC’s School of Theology.
“City Harvest Church is my church—you can’t get rid of me,” smiles Dunn. “I will always be a part of CHC.”
There are plans for the Dunns to plant a City Harvest Church in the US once Dunn’s mother is well on the road to recovery. Kong says, “That won’t happen for a while yet—Derek has to focus on getting his mom well—but we have discussed it, and when it happens, it will be a City Harvest Church in the US, and we will support it to the hilt.” There are over 50 affiliate churches and Bible schools across the globe.
The Dunns will leave for the US on Dec. 19, 2011.