With great sadness, the Bible Society movement saw the passing of one of its champions on April 11th, 2019 – the former UBS General Secretary Rev. Dr. Ulrich Fick, at the age of 95.
At the time of the founding of United Bible Societies in 1946, Fick was still a prisoner of war, but he went on to study theology and became a renowned radio preacher. In the 1960s Fick spent six years in Ethiopia with “Radio Voice of the Gospel” and was later involved in ecumenical dialogue from his position with the Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Germany.
Fick served as the chairman of the German Bible Society before taking up his new position as UBS General Secretary in 1973 at the age of 49. During Fick’s time in leadership, there was an emphasis on translation that could be understood by those new to the Bible, leading to growth in literacy programs, as well as other materials to assist people to engage with the Bible. His tenure also saw an acceleration in dialogue with the churches, and increased discussion of the different ways Bible Societies can serve the church in different landscapes.
Fick is remembered warmly by Fellowship colleagues, who remember him not just as a colleague, but even more so as a friend, who have expressed how much they treasured his fun-loving nature, thoughtfulness, and deep, enduring friendship. We as a Fellowship mourn the passing of this great leader, and express our sympathies to his loved ones. We also give thanks for the great contribution that he made both to the cause of Bible mission, and to so many individual lives.