Artist Honors Robertson McQuilkin with Portrait
Like a lot of parents who hope their child will sit still in church, Judee Dickinson’s mom and dad used to let her draw pictures
during the service. But instead of the doodles of a lot of children, Dickinson drew the faces of the people around her. It became
her life’s passion.
Decades later, she is known professionally as Judith Dickinson,
an award-winning artist who owns and teaches at the Art
Academy of Colorado near Denver. Some of her recent portraits
include Christian leaders who have had an influence on her
life including Bible professor Dr. Howard Hendricks, author
Elisabeth Elliot and the late Columbia International University
President Robertson McQuilkin. That portrait, Dickinson’s gift to
CIU, now hangs in the entryway to the McQuilkin Building
Dickinson said she wanted to honor McQuilkin for a number of
reasons, including his book, “A Promise Kept,” describing his
decision to resign as CIU’s third president in 1990 to care for his
wife Muriel who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.
“It was so touching to me in my early marriage,” Dickinson
explained. “It meant so much to me.”
But there are other connections between Dickinson and
McQuilkin. Her great-grandfather founded America’s Keswick
ministry in New Jersey, the center of the Victorious Christian
Life movement in the United States, and a founding CIU
core value. Also, her grandfather was a close friend of R.C.
McQuilkin, Robertson McQuilkin’s father, who served as CIU’s
She recalls hearing Robertson McQuilkin speak at America’s
“As a teenager, I was just mesmerized by what he said and his
commitment to missions,” Dickinson said.
She recalls a particular week when Robertson McQuilkin challenged those at Keswick to consider their part in world
“I remember that was a time I recommitted my life to whatever the Lord wanted in the future.”
In addition, Dickinson is a 1968 graduate of Ben Lippen School, CIU’s Pre-K to 12th grade Christian school in Columbia. She was
a Ben Lippen student when the school was located in Asheville, North Carolina, and its former headmaster Robertson McQuilkin
was a frequent speaker.
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