An interview with District Superintendent Don Immel
What do you think has prepared you the most for this next step?
I see it as a lifetime of saying yes. Denny Sproull asked me to be the CE rep for our section. I was pastoring a very small church at that time, and I said, “Yes.”
A couple of years later I said, “Yes” to being on the sectional committee. This was a role reversal, because at one time the sectional committee was my board. Now I had the opportunity to serve and help home missions’ churches. That was followed by a “Yes” to being secretary of the section.
So, what’s prepared me the most? Serving as a presbyter prepared me to serve as Secretary-Treasurer, and serving as Secretary-Treasurer combined with Presbytery, along with pastoring churches, have all helped to prepare me for what God has called me to today.
Tell us about your family.
We have 3 children – Benjamin, Rebecca and Donnie. Ben and Emily live in Pittsburgh and work for UPMC; Ben in the IT security area and Emily as an OB nurse. Becca, who is due to have a baby in August, and Nathan, a dentist, live in Fort Worth, Texas. Donnie and Kylie, along with Kaedence our first grandchild, live in Monroeville, PA, where Donnie is a youth pastor and Kylie has a photography business.
Our empty nest is not what we thought it would be. We knew that one day our kids would be well-functioning adults. They are, but we miss them terribly and pine for the connectedness of having our family close by.
What are you looking forward to the most with your new position?
First is mentoring young ministers and helping them to achieve their dreams of kingdom effectiveness. That is something that I am anxious to engage in with them.
On the other end, it is caring in a pastoral sense for our credential holders. The ministry can be, and often is, traumatic. I’m absolutely sure that post-traumatic stress (not disorder, but post-traumatic stress) is part of our reality and it has largely gone unaddressed. We want to care for our ministers and their families as well as our churches.