Pastor Mike Dillman
An ordained minister with the Assemblies of God, Michael Dillman arrived in Manteca in 2004 from Grass Valley to serve as pastor of The Place of Refuge (formerly First Assembly of God). “Pastor Mike,” as he is called by so many in the Manteca community, has used his own traumatic experiences in coming home from the Vietnam War in the 1970s to utilize Memorial Day weekend to honor veterans and the fallen of our nation. He brought with him the event he had begun in the Nevada County town – an annual commemoration of a traveling replica of the Vietnam Wall.
In addition to his pastoring ministry at his church, the native of Stockton is currently serving as Chairman of an annual Citywide event he organized on Memorial Day weekend called “Not Forgotten.” It focuses on saluting our veterans, remembering the fallen and raising awareness among the citizenry.
The Welcome Home Heroes Foundation was born out of the "Not Forgotten" annual event. A Traveling Tribute was designed and constructed through the organization to honor all our military men and women who have laid down their lives in service to our country since 9/11. The memorial is the center piece of the "Not Forgotten" event and stands as a witness to the great sacrifice that almost 6,000 men and women have made in the War on Terror.
Each year, Pastor Dillman hosts Gold Star families in our area, being sure they will also know their family member will never be forgotten, nor will their own sacrifice. He also led the annual Christmas Eve dinner/breakfast for the needy of our City, including presents for the children.
He was honored by the Manteca Chamber of Commerce by serving as Grand Marshal of the 2008 Christmas Parade.
Touching the hurting with healing and hope, and honoring those who serve is a core commitment in his life.
His activities in the community have more than earned him a place in the Manteca Hall of Fame.