Gavin Dickson

Catterick Garrison

I was born and bred in Livingston Scotland, until I joined the Army at 16. I went into the Scots Guards after completing my basic training at Glencorese, and Phase Two training at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick.

I spent thirteen years and six months in the Army before taking redundancy and joining SASRA. During my time in the Army I had a number of different roles, driving, gunning and commanding the armoured fighting vehicle, The Warrior, both in training and on operational tours.

I spent many years in the Regimental Signals Platoon in several roles there. These roles included company signaller and also delivering training in Operations Rooms. I also served many years as a front line soldier, digging in and being involved in a number of fighting patrols. During my time in the army I also qualified as a Sky Diver and gained a number of teaching qualifications. It was at this time I came to faith, being saved shortly before my final tour in Afghanistan in 2010.

I was saved in a small independent church in Lanark, where the girl I was dating had found a flyer for a coffee event. I spent a number of weeks asking the Pastor questions and going to church on Sunday, where I heard the Gospel preached for the first time that I can remember. Driving back to Catterick on the A66 I turned the radio off and prayed earnestly that ‘If this Jesus is true, then I want to know Him’. At that very moment I became a Christian. This shocked many of my army colleagues as I was not known for high morals or had ever displayed any religious tendencies. In fact I was known for the opposite, having spent many years heavily drinking, and not being too concerned with which girl would share my bed.

However, on that day on the A66 I knew I had done wrong by God, knew the weight was too much for me to bear and that I could never pay the price, but I also knew that Jesus Christ had paid it and somehow knew I belonged to Him.

I spent four years in the army as a Christian and I became more and more concerned for my colleagues and for all soldiers. I knew that many of them did not even know the very basic information about Jesus and that most had no interest in hearing the gospel. However, God used me and my past to draw out many to ask questions and nearly every day there was an opportunity to share my testimony and share something of what Jesus had done. Over those years it became apparent that this is what I wanted to do, that I had been called to share who Jesus is and the wonderful things that He has done with those that did not know Him. On leaving the army, having known some of the Scripture Readers in Catterick and David Murray in Scotland, I felt the Call to preach the gospel to serving personnel in the Armed Forces.

And that is what I am doing today, passing on the same gospel that I heard; telling the old, old story that some might be saved. And as God’s providence would have it, I am back in Catterick Garrison where my army career really started and where it ended, to proclaim Christ Crucified.

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