Executive Director & Spiritual Formation Catalyst
Helping people respond to the Spirit’s call in the midst of their everyday lives so they may experience “life to the full.”
Tuesday Night Reflections
Join Dan on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month for a time of reflection and spiritual growth.
Allow Dan to help you respond to the depth of the Spirit’s call in the midst of your everyday life.
Daniel Nicewonger serves as the Executive Director and Spiritual Formation Catalyst for A Place in the Conversation. An ordained American Baptist pastor, Dan has served congregations in Malden, MA, Cortland, NY, Springfield, MA, and Kennett Square, PA. His life is guided by a personal vision statement defining what it means to be faithful to God’s call upon his life.
Dan's Personal Vision Statement
- Faithfulness is continuing to allow the Spirit of God to work in my life, maturing and shaping the person I am becoming, all the while remaining sensitive and responsive to the leading of the Spirit…
- Faithfulness empowers Nancy to know and pursue the Spirit’s call upon her life. To love, support, and encourage her in such a way that she is comfortable taking bold steps…
- Faithfulness is helping Joseph and Rayann grow into adults who love Jesus and are mature, responsible adults who know and pursue the Spirit’s call upon their lives…
- Faithfulness is helping people encounter the Spirit of God in the midst of their everyday lives…
- Faithfulness is gathering people who have experienced the transforming power of Jesus in their lives and joining together, working to transform tired, weary institutions into energized, mission-focused fellowships passionate about sharing the love of God with the world.
As Executive Director, Dan provides the vision for how A Place in the Conversation works to bring about relational transformation and renewal. In addition, his organizational skills help ensure everything is accomplished efficiently and on time.
As Spiritual Formation Catalyst, Dan works to help people encounter Jesus in the midst of their everyday lives. He seeks to help people learn how to enter times of quiet and hear that still small voice of God speaking directly to them. God’s leading and directing has been crucial in shaping his life’s direction. He wants everyone to enjoy the thrill of “life to the full” that Jesus promises.
To help you understand a bit of who I am and the experiences that have shaped my life, I want to share three stories from my life.
Call to Life's Work
I was in my mid-teens when our church youth group traveled to Roatan, Honduras, for a one-week mission experience. It was a life-changing experience for me. I can take you to a park in Coxen Hole where the Spirit spoke and invited me to a lifetime of service.
Sitting on a park bench across from the church, I reflected upon the special relationships formed over the past few days. Suddenly a group of about thirty boys ran down the street in front of me. Watching them pass by, a question came to mind. Who will help them? Who will make sure they are cared for? It was as if the Spirit lifted blinders from my eyes and allowed me to see the need around me. Years later, I would begin to speak about that experience as my call to ministry.
The church in Coxen Hole, on the island of Roatan where Dan felt the Spirit’s invitation to what would be his life’s work.
A Season of Rest
Embracing this lifestyle of discerning and following God’s leading resulted in a season where Dan stepped away from full-time pastoral ministry starting in February 2008.
The decision to step aside for a season was not easy. Life in Springfield, MA, was good on all fronts. Our family was happy, and Church in the Acres was experiencing a season of growth in all areas. Yet, despite our being comfortable and content, it was clear the Spirit was inviting us in a new direction. So, without the security of jobs or a home to live in, we followed what we believed to be the Spirit’s invitation to move to Locust, NC.
During this season, Dan learned more about himself, pastoring, and leadership as he held secular employment and experienced what it means to “sit in the pew” rather than stand before a congregation and lead. In addition, during this season, Dan worked with Pastor Ronny Russell to help launch Live Again Ministries. Live Again was Ronny’s vision for continuing to meet the needs of the least and the lost as he entered retirement. Working with Ronny caused Dan to think about how he wanted to live and move during his retirement, which seemed a long way off. As a result, in 2013, A Place in the Conversation was birthed.
The season of rest came to an end in June of 2014 when Dan, Nancy, and Rayann moved to Kennett Square, PA, where Dan served as pastor.
A Disruption Like No Other
In May of 2016, Dan was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer.
Initial outlooks suggested that Dan had less than two years to live. Doctors told him it was time to “go home and get his affairs in order.” However, once treatment began, it was soon apparent that Dan’s body was responding very well to chemotherapy. Since May 2016, Dan has undergone five rounds (as of June 2022) of systemic chemotherapy and a few other treatment plans.
With the help of Nancy, a fantastic oncologist, and the community at First Baptist, Dan could continue serving as pastor for many years. However, in July of 2021, Dan’s oncologist recommended that it was time to pursue disability. As a result, August 22 was Dan’s last Sunday serving as pastor of First Baptist Church of Kennett Square.
There is no escaping the reality that this journey has been difficult. However, I would not change the lessons learned or the growth that has taken place within myself for anything. I have lived my best life these past six years and look forward to continuing to do the same until my time on earth is complete. The Spirit has used cancer to grant me clarity about what is truly important. My suffering helped me connect with the pain of others and opened my eyes to the realities in the world around us. I have learned (continue to learn) that all of life is a gift, even the tough stuff.
While many more experiences have shaped the person I am becoming, these give you a window into what impacts how I move through each day.