by Gladys Neigel
“The officers of Florida Conference have seen fit, according to the leading of the Spirit in their lives and the observation of her work, to, on this day, July 28, 2012, officially commission Pastor Sabine Vatel as a commissioned minister of the Seventh-day Adventist Church,” proclaimed Geoff Patterson, senior pastor of Forest Lake Church, Apopka, Fla., as he welcomed family and friends to a special commissioning service.
The ceremony was one of praise and exaltation, presentation, ministry of the Word, and consecration led by individuals who have been a part of Sabine’s professional journey.
David Smith, senior pastor of Collegedale, Tenn., Church and Sabine’s college English professor, presented the message, “Our Deepest Longing.” In speaking to Sabine, Smith said, “I am so encouraged that you would value the presence of God in your life above everything else.” Credentials were presented by Carmen Rodriguez, Florida Conference executive secretary.
Sabine Vatel, D.Min., became pastor of discipleship at Forest Lake Church on September 1, 2007. In this role, she oversees new member assimilation, parish education, and congregational spiritual growth. “She is somebody who God has appointed, anointed, and empowered,” said Ruthie Jacobson, North American Division Prayer Ministries coordinator, as she presented the morning prayer.
Under Sabine’s direction, the House of Prayer Experience (HoPE) on Wednesday evenings brings members and the community to a closer walk with Jesus. Into whatever ministry she is involved, Sabine brings a special vitality, as well as due diligence. As part of the church’s response, Wilson Lima, an elder, along with Clelia, his wife, a HoPE facilitator, spoke these words to Sabine, “You had your plans, but you let God put His plans in your heart, and you followed Him.”
Those plans led her from ministering as a registered nurse to premedical studies as part of a dream to become a mission-driven doctor until she knew and felt in her heart the call to become a pastor. After graduation from the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Mich., Sabine accepted a call to serve as campus chaplain for Canadian University College and associate pastor for young adults at College Heights Church in Alberta, Canada. Later, she would serve in Takoma Park, Md. as a chaplain at Columbia Union College (now Washington Adventist University) and as an associate pastor at Sligo Church before joining the ministry of Forest Lake Church.
Sabine’s response during the commissioning service included a thank you to those who had helped her on the journey. She gave tribute to her mother, “whose belief that God could call me propelled me forward to believe that God ordains the messenger He chooses even when the messenger is His daughter.”
“May God find His sons and His daughters faithful to His call when He returns,” was Sabine’s closing thought.