Bishop James Dean passed away; By Dr. Nazir S Bhatti
Rt. Rev. Bishop Dr. Ch. James Dean slept in Lord on January 26, 2015, in Faisalabad leaving behind mourning family, congregates and thousands of friends throughout world. He founded Presbyterian Church in Pakistan and kept spreading message of Holy Bible in far flung areas of Punjab province of Pakistan till his last breath.
When I head news of his death, it made me really very sad because he was an able leader who served Christians of Pakistan in politically front also which his congregation may not know. I met Ch. James Dean (that time he was not Bishop) when I was student. It was great honor for me that I arranged many public meetings for him and his team of Azad Pakistan Masihi League in Karachi during national general elections of 1970 when APML was campaigning to boycott election demanding Separate Electorate.
When only Christian political part of Pakistani named Pakistan Masihi League supported by every Christian denomination met in Peshawar to decide that weather Christian will participate in elections on 1970, in which Legal Frame Work prepared by Law Minister Justice Cornelius in Dictator General Yehya Khan cabinet proposed Joint Electorate system for minorities (that Christian shall vote for Muslim political parties who will select and nominate Christians of their choice in parliament). The Pakistan Masihi League Supreme Council members split in two groups on issue of participation in elections and one which opposed to participate in Joint Electorate system and demanded Separate Electorate (that Christians may elect their representatives with their votes instead of Selection by Muslim parties in parliament) joined hands under leadership of legendry leader and former Deputy Speaker of West Pakistan Assembly Joushwa Fazal Din: The Christian leaders gathered under slogan of Separate Electorate formed Azad Pakistan Masihi League; Ch. James Dean was President of Karachi Division of Azad Pakistan Masihi League launched campaign to boycott elections in which I supported him in many colonies of Christians by organizing public gathering.
Ch. James Dean was very committed and dedicated leader towards Christians cause. Whenever, we students went to meet him at his residence in Manzoor Colony Karachi, he used to tell us that Pakistani Christians are in desperate need of “Christian University” because only education is way of success in Islamic Republic of Pakistan; He was always saying “It is my dream to build Christian University in Pakistan”
Ch. James Dean struggled for rehabilitation of Christians and successfully obtained land for new housing schemes in Karachi from government; He was very simple person and blackmailed by some clever and wicked leaders of Azad Pakistan Masihi League who took charge of those housing projects and made millions of rupees.
When I met him last time, he seemed very disappointed from some leaders of Azad Pakistan Masihi League and told me that he is going abroad to make his dream come true to build “Christian University” in Pakistan.
After that meeting, I never met him and came to know from some friends that he is in Germany; I always remembered him as our able leader;
Then some friends informed me that Ch. James Dean came back to Pakistan and established a Church ministry; It was amazing for me that how a political leader can turn to be a clergy but things wrapped up in time and after years I knew about his death from a note by Bishop FS Bhatti that Bishop James Dean passed away.
One note which comforted me by Bishop FS Bhatti was mention of University with his death announcement “very sad news, Bishop James Dean, Principle and chairman of Christian University ( Inter - denominational ) has been slept in Christ today evening. May God give comfort his family, children and church?”
Rt. Rev. Bishop Dr. James Dean left behind mourning wife, 5 sons and two daughters according to information’s.