Skip to content ↓

Nick Challies (March 5, 2000 – November 3, 2020)

Nick Challies

Nicholas Paul Challies was born at Hamilton’s McMaster Hospital on March 5, 2000. He was a trailblazer of sorts: The first child to Tim and Aileen; the first grandchild to Mike, Marg, John, and Barbara; the first nephew to Andrew, Maryanne, Emily, Susanna, and Grace.

Nick Challies

When Nick was just a few months old his family settled in Oakville where they were joined by Abby in 2002 and Michaela in 2006. Nick attended Falgarwood Public School, then Munn’s Public School, and finally Iroquois Ridge High School. A quiet and pensive boy, he liked to maintain a small group of friends and a big library of books. He had the precociousness that so often comes with being a firstborn and the sense of responsibility that so often comes with being an older brother. He was loyal to his family, kind to his sisters, and honoring to his parents.

Central to Nick’s life was his Christian faith. When he was still young he determined it would be disingenuous to simply imitate his parents in their faith, so he began an independent investigation to determine if it was worth believing. He eventually became convinced that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and that he ought to be a follower of Jesus. He professed faith, was baptized, and became a member of Grace Fellowship Church where he worshipped gladly and served joyfully.

When the time came to consider matters of vocation, he found his heart set on pastoral ministry. His search for a seminary led him to Louisville, Kentucky and the twin institutions of Boyce College and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. In 2018 he enrolled in an accelerated program that would allow him to complete a bachelor’s and master’s degree in five years. He pressed hard, determined to finish early, and was on track to finish in only four. He was a diligent student who developed a particular fondness for New Testament and Greek language studies. He also hit his stride relationally, developing many meaningful friendships, becoming an assistant resident advisor and international student advisor, and taking on the role of mentor to many of the younger students.

Soon after arriving in Louisville Nick set his heart on Anna Kathryn Conley, who goes by Ryn. They began dating a year later and Nick slipped an engagement ring onto her finger just three months ago, on August 21. Their wedding day was to be May 8, 2021.

On November 3, while participating in an sports activity with his hall, Nick died very suddenly and unexpectedly. The cause remains unknown.

All who had the privilege of knowing Nick grieve his passing and remember him with fondness. All who share his faith eagerly anticipate the day they will see him again. His parents, sisters, and fiancée say, through tears, “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

(Those who wish to honor Nick’s memory are invited to contribute to the Nick Challies Memorial Scholarship which will annually provide tuition assistance to a selected student from Canada whose ministry aspirations are the same as those Nick possessed—to return to Canada and serve as pastor of a local church.)

  • What God Wants You To Forget

    What God Wants You To Forget

    We are never far from reminding God of our credentials, of providing him with a curriculum vitae that lays out all we are, all we have been through, and all we have accomplished for his sake. We are never far from making the subtle turn from grace to merit, from what is freely given to…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (March 27)

    A La Carte: New music / Millennials and GenZ / Scotland’s new hate crime law / Cate Blanchett, Easter is for you / Why the Reformed pray for revival / What truly happened to Jesus on the cross? / and more.

  • New and Notable Books

    New and Notable Christian Books for March 2024

    As you know, I like to do my best to sort through the new Christian books that are released each month to see what stands out as being not only new, but also particularly notable. I received quite a number of new titles in March and narrowed the list down to the ones below. I…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (March 26)

    A La Carte: God delivers from the suffering he ordains / The beautiful partnership of family and church / The end of religious liberty / On whales, menopause, and thanks to God / Ordinary women, extravagant gifts / and more.

  • Marriage: A Dance of Beauty and Chaos

    This sponsored post was provided by Burke Care, and written by Jen Arend, which invites you to schedule care today with a certified biblical counselor. As the music swells, she begins her descent down the aisle. All eyes are on her, especially her groom. She is radiant, majestic, and filled with beauty. Her gaze meets his tear-filled…

  • Does God Care How You Cook Your Goat?

    Does God Care How You Cook Your Goat?

    It is one of those biblical commands that has always perplexed me. If it appeared just one time in Scripture I might be tempted to pass it by. But it appears no less than three times, in Exodus 23:19, Exodus 34:26, and Deuteronomy 14:21. The repetition tells me that God is quite concerned that his…