Growing up in Australia, Grahame left home at the age of 19 to board a ship bound for Canada where he enrolled at Prairie Bible Institute and met his future wife, Karen. Since their 1967 marriage Grahame and Karen have engaged in Christian ministries around Montana and the surrounding region along with Canada and Alaska.
Grahame is a graduate of Prairie Bible College (1967) and of the University of Great Falls (1973). He majored in Bible and minored in music at PBI and served as class president and as president of the first PBC Student Council. From UGF, where he lettered in swimming, he holds a B.A. with honors in English along with advanced philosophy and psychology courses. His formal music background includes voice and theory studies earned in Alberta by extension from the Toronto Royal Conservatory of Music. He has also completed several post-graduate education courses.
While continuing pastoral and youth work, Grahame also taught English at Big Sandy High School for eight years after which he worked six years as a D.A. Davidson & Co. securities broker. Then in 1987, he retired from the securities business to concentrate on full-time ministries.
Starting in 1969, the Nicolsons were involved with the project that developed into C – N Camp and Montana Wilderness School of the Bible. They staffed, organized, and ran the first C – N camps and retreats during the early 1970s. Grahame & Karen are numbered among founders of the Camp and its associated School of the Bible. They continue to assist with C – N and MWSB programs, especially Teen Camp where they lead the annual LT (Leadership Trainee) program.
In the ’70s and ’80s, Grahame was auxiliary chaplain to the 120th Fighter Interceptor Group of the Montana Air National Guard where he and Karen conducted services for 15 years. They have worked with several civic, educational, and Christian committees and boards.
Grahame currently serves on Montana Bible College’s Board of Directors. He has also assisted with the incorporating of Christian non-profit organizations, including C – N Camp and Intermountain Christian Fellowship.
Grahame and Karen particularly enjoy working with high school and college-age young people, and, under the auspices of Intermountain Christian Fellowship, are engaged in regional church and youth ministries, with a winter schedule that takes them each month to several youth groups, churches, and special events.
They are also sometimes called upon to minister overseas and have fulfilled engagements in Italy, India, and Australia.
While writing church leadership and Christian youth leadership curriculum, Grahame regularly teaches leadership classes and groups, including monthly MLA (Men’s Leadership Association) sessions and YLG (Youth Leadership Group) meetings.
He currently makes his earthly home just outside of Great Falls, Montana, USA with his wife, Karen.
Karen, a native Alaskan, was raised in a bush village. While attending Prairie Bible Institute’s Prairie High School in the 1960s, she met future husband Grahame who provided guitar accompaniment for the close-harmony trio in which she sang.
After Karen took several courses at Bethel University, the couple married in 1967 and immediately entered a Montana two-year ministry internship. The Nicolsons say, “It’s been a long internship; we’ve now been serving the Lord in Montana for well over 40 years!”
Karen and Grahame have three grown sons, two daughters-in-law, and two grandsons. “The Nicolson Boys,” as Carl, Christopher, and Cameron are still often called, attended Multnomah University and pursued other post-secondary education, including graduations from the University of Montana and Multnomah University. “But most importantly,” Karen joyfully reports, “the guys and their dear wives all love and serve the Lord.”
Along with bush flying in Alaska as a licensed pilot, Karen grew up commercial fishing in Bristol Bay along the western shores of the Bering Sea. She broke Grahame and “the boys” into gillnetting, and gradually handed over the work to them. So, a few weeks of each summer will find at least a couple of the Nicolsons, and often Grahame as well, hauling in several tons of Bristol Bay wild sockeye salmon.
Throughout their married lives, Karen and Grahame have engaged in Christian ministries around Montana and the surrounding region along with Canada and Alaska. Starting in 1969, the Nicolsons were involved with the project that developed into C – N Camp / Montana Wilderness School of the Bible. They staffed, organized, and ran the first C – N Camps and retreats during the early 1970s and Karen was the first cook at the facility. Karen and Grahame continue to assist with C – N Camp / MWSB programs, especially Teen Camp where they lead the annual LT (Leadership Trainee) program.
Karen particularly enjoys working alongside her husband with high school and college-age young people, regularly engaging in regional church and youth ministries.
Karen’s significant culinary and hospitality gifts are widely recognized and eagerly received at her home kitchen and in leadership classes and groups, including monthly MLA (Men’s Leadership Association) sessions and YLG (Youth Leadership Groups).
Karen is musically gifted, so she and Grahame incorporate music into their activities, leading contemporary and / or traditional worship and singing duets and solos.
Karen is sought after by women of all ages for her wisdom and discipleship skills. Grahame often shares that “some of the most effective ministries we have enjoyed have been through the Lord’s blessing Karen’s prayer life, teaching, and outreach!”
The theme Karen and Grahame chose for their marriage out the outset was Psalm 48:14: “For this God is our God forever and ever: He will be our Guide even unto death;” and, with Karen’s agreement, Grahame states that he and Karen want to “lay rubber all the way into heaven!”