NIXA, Mo. – Rev. James “Jim” Arthur Sabella, Ph.D., 64, loved and served his Lord, his family, and the missionaries and people of Southeastern Europe with all his heart.
Jim was born on August 9, 1958 to Joel and Nancy Venditti Sabella in Youngstown and joined Jesus in Nixa, Missouri on Thursday October 20, 2022 after a two-year battle with cancer.
Jim graduated from Hubbard High School in 1976. He received a BS in Bible Studies from the University of Valley Forge in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania; an MA in Bible and Theology from Continental Theological Seminary in Brussels, Belgium; a Masters of Theology degree from the University of Wales; and a Departmental Doctorate from George Fox University in Portland, Ore.
On June 26, 1982, Jim Sherry Miller married Sabella. For 40 years, Jim and Sherry loved and cared for each other. Their marriage produced two sons, Philip James and Jonathan Richard. They were the pride and joy of Jim’s life.
Jim was ordained as a pastor at the Assemblies of God USA (Pennsylvania/Delaware Ministry Network). He served as a youth pastor at Binghamton First AG in Binghamton, NY and as senior pastor at Bethel Chapel AG in York, Pa. and Mifflinburg Inc. of Mifflinburg, Pa.
In 1994, Jim and Sherry were called to serve as Assemblies of God World Missions (AGWM) missionaries in the Czech Republic. There they became involved in church planting and Bible school teaching, established pastoral training courses, and directed the country’s global university program. Jim said of the Czech Republic, “My heart will always be there.”
In 2004, Jim and Sherry were appointed Area Managers for AGWM’s Central Europe area. They were appointed Area Directors for Area Central and Southeast Europe in 2012 and Area Directors for Area Southeast Europe in 2017. Jim was AGWM’s longest-serving Area Director.
Jim’s greatest joy in ministry has been visiting Roma villages across Europe and spreading the message of life and hope in Jesus. He rejoiced as a revival swept through the Roma communities and said, “I’ve never seen anything like it. No one can claim to have started it. Christ the King has walked the highways and byways, inviting anyone who will to come to his table. And the Roma are coming in droves.”
In 2012, Jim founded Europe’s Heart, a service for people on the margins of society – especially for the Roma in eastern Slovakia. As a director, Jim’s ability to highlight the inherent worth of others clearly shone.
Each time Jim said goodbye to someone, he urged them to “keep the faith,” based on 2 Timothy 4:7: “I have fought the good fight; I finished the race; I kept the faith.”
Jim was preceded in death by his father Joel; and his brother Joel Thomas (Patty of Nashville, Tennessee)
He is survived by his esteemed wife, Sherry; his sons Philip of Williamstown, NJ and Jonathan of Los Angeles, California; his mother, Nancy von Hubbard; his brothers Mark (Jean) of Olean, NY and Rev. Randy (Dorey) of Newfield, NJ; and several nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, December 14, 2022 at 10:30 a.m. at Christian Life Assembly, 2645 Lisburn Road, Camp Hill, PA 17011. Reverend Dr Greg Mundis, Executive Director of Assemblies of God World Missions, will officiate. The service will be streamed live at http://clacamphill.online.church so family and friends around the world can join in the celebration of Jim’s life.
Family and friends are invited to visit the funeral home’s website at www.stewart-kyle.com to exchange memories and condolences.