Dean was twenty-one when he first trusted in Jesus Christ to forgive his sins on the basis of the death and resurrection of Christ and as his only way to heaven. After becoming a Christian by faith in Christ alone, he went on to seek how to serve God with a grateful heart. He graduated from Florida Bible College (’75 B.A.) and completed his postgraduate studies at Capital Bible Seminary where he majored in Old Testament Studies (’78 Th.M.). After graduating from seminary, the Chollars moved to San Antonio where Dean ministered full-time in a local independent church for a couple of years. They then moved to Arlington, Texas where Dean gained four years of practical experience in the home building business.
Dean was commissioned as a missionary with Greater Europe Mission in 1984 by their home church in Arlington, Texas. During his time in Belgium (’86-’97), he led two church-planting efforts and helped to restructure another church. Dean, along with his family, also started a youth organization called Youth With A Future (Jeugd Met Toekomst). His work became Europe-wide when he served as a Europe Director for one year with another organization. It was at this point that Dean began to lose his vision due to a hereditary disease, Retinitis Pigmentosa.
With invitations to serve beyond Europe, CrossWay International was started in March of 1997. CrossWay relocated to San Antonio, Texas from 1997 to 2005, then moved to Boerne (rhymes with journey), Texas.
Since 2003, Dean has been totally blind. He continues to travel to remote parts of the world in order to preach the gospel of grace by faith in Christ alone. This has served to challenge those who are sighted to be more fully used by God in the great Harvest that lies before us. Dean has had opportunities to preach, to teach seminars on evangelism, and to develop culturally relevant evangelistic materials in various parts of the world, including Europe, Asia, Eurasia, Central America, and South America (more than 50 different countries).
In the past few years, Dean, with a host of U.S. and foreign coworkers, has also drilled 24 water wells in Africa and Central America, started 3 schools in Sudan, Ethiopia and Liberia, led two medical mission teams to Ethiopia and Sudan, and helped support orphans and needy children in Kenya, Ethiopia, Liberia, and Nicaragua. See gocrossway.org for more information on these ministries as a platform for reaching out to the lost with the message of God’s grace.