Saturday, February 20, 2010

Steve & Amber Abel

Steve Abel graduated almost five years ago, in 2005. I think maybe I was the first person he "interviewed" when he was decising to come to IWU. That was back when we were first founding the worship major--and I was teaching all the worship courses.

I loved having Steve in classes because he was always in tune with whatever was being taught—smiling, nodding, and “getting it.” It least he always looked like that to me! He was very active as a student in ministry—not waiting until he graduated to get involved. Steve did his practicum at Eagle Church in Indianapolis (where Ian Swyers is now--see entry below). Amber, his wife took a bunch of my classes too—she was always a happy student who reliably offered some clever and sometimes irreverent comment before, during and after classes. Wheneve I saw the printout of students and saw her name I knew it was going to be a fun class. Amber was always freezing at IWU—invaribly bringing a blanket to class to curl up in!

When they got married I expected Amber to persuade Steve to move someplace warm, but they went to serve at the Sidney Ohio First United Methodist Church. He worked there for almost 2 years when Heritage Wesleyan Church in the Quad cities snatched him . I think Mark Schmerse who worked at Heritage at the time contacted Steve first and linked up the church and Stave (more about Mark in a previous entry here). That reminds me how networking is important—you never know which of your former college buddies might hook you up with your next church. Steve is the worship pastor at Heritage church now. Steve and Amber now have a little boy, Lincoln.

I think Steve was instrumental in beginning the new Heritage "Bettendorf venue" (their 2nd Campus) initially, though now it is led by the campus pastor for Bettendorf. He still selects all music for the campuses except his youth worship leaders select their own music for youth programming. Steve is a genius at event planning and plays a major role in the creative planning process and stage design for the large Christmas and Easter events.

When Styeve was a student he led worship too—and that’s exactly what he does—leads others in worship. It is not a watch-Steve-sing performance but worshipping God together as Steve "prompts." Every time I have been in a service led by Steve he has helped me connect with God. I loved Steve and Amber when they were students and I was proud of them then. Still am! I’m proud of you Steve and Amber!

For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? 1 Thessalonians 2:19 (NIV)


Michael Cline said...

Love this series Coach.

And I love these people. (And I even know most of them haha).

Keith Drury said...

Thanks Mike.... it is a fun write for me... remembering students all around the world making a difference... while I sit here in Marion ;-)