Alec Harris, Staff Writer
On April 4, 2019, the Duke of Poland spoke at BCM. At the time it seemed slightly out of the blue. This was a monumental occasion and it begs a certain question. How in the world did this happen?
Joshua Gilmore the Director of BCM made the connection. About 12 years ago Gilmore was in Chicago attending a micro-conference, and Richard Dietrich was the speaker. After the fact, Gilmore approached him and asked to have a cup of coffee with him. At the time, Dietrich was simply a youth pastor who lived in Arizona. About six months later it was discovered that Dietrich was actually Count Richard Dietrich of Poland. Gilmore heard from others that he had become royalty.
The years passed by and nothing came of the connection. Gilmore later came to work at NGU and at one point heard a message from Gene Fant making the connection between a royal that he had met and the significance of being the children of the king.
Gilmore was struck by this comparison and the significance it held. Gilmore then remembered that he knew the Duke of Poland. Through the grapevine Gilmore was able to connect with people around the Duke but never the man himself. Then Dietrich actually called Gilmore and the two reconnected. Dietrich said that he remembered Gilmore because he was the only one in Chicago with a southern accent.
Gilmore invited the Dietrich to speak at NGU. Dietrich spends part of his time in Poland, Scotland, Jamaica and other places overseas and the rest of it in Arizona. At the time of the call, he was in Arizona and they decided to make it happen. Dietrich arrived on Wednesday and spent the day exploring Greenville then spoke at BCM Thursday night. He has been knighted, he is the Duke of Poland, he is the top level of royalty but he is most importantly a child of God.
Dietrich is using his authority and royalty for all the right reasons. At his heart he is still a youth minister and has one main focus. He wants to see his country saved. The vast majority of Poland is ruled by Catholicism. The Count has already had a music tour through Poland consisting of Christian rock bands and he hopes to do the same again with the assistance of NGU students.
He is calling forth the aid of all of the musicians and people willing to minister to others to come to Poland in 2020 and share the gospel. That trip also consists of the royal ball which the students would attend as well.
What started out as a cup of coffee between near strangers has turned into an incredible opportunity to potentially change an entire country and show them the gospel. All it took was a memorable southern accent and a willingness to listen to the spirit to reach out. If you are interested in possibly going to Poland in 2020 to witness reach out to Gilmore.