Dennis Nickel was born on March 19, 1946 in Salmon Arm, BC to Marvin and Pearl Nickel. His dad was teaching at the little Silver Creek school but decided to further his education at Walla Walla College. The family eventually settled in the Loma Linda area.
Graduating with his Bachelors degree in 1979, his first pastoral assignment was the Wetaskiwin/Ponoka district. Daughter Bethanne was born here. Son Benjamin was born while Dennis was attending the Seventh-day Adventist Seminary at Andrews University. He completed his Master of Divinity degree in 1983 and returned to pastor in Alberta where a second son, Bradley, was born.
Nickel pastored for a total of 30 years in the Alberta, BC and Upper Columbia Conferences. He lost a battle with cancer on August 4, 2011.