Esther Louise VanDyke was born in Paducah, Kentucky, and moved to Champaign‐Urbana in 1971. She moved to Champaign because her husband had family here and he had a position as a chemical lab technician with the Cabot Corporation in Tuscola, IL. She ministers daily to all. She was raised by her grandmother Esther Crumpton and accepted Christ at the age of twelve. She attended an all‐black high school, Lincoln High, in Paducah, and has one sister, Carolyn Crossland. She was married to the late Luchion VanDyke for 26 years, and has five children and many godchildren. She has been a member of Mt. Olive Baptist Church for 38 years under Rev. Lundy Savage. She is an evangelist in the church and founded the organization, Sisters of CU. For thirteen years the Sisters have offered a prayer breakfast in the Champaign‐Urbana area and the sisters have ministered throughout the United States and other countries.
Esther was featured in Difference Makers 2010: An eBlack Champaign-Urbana Publication.