Greetings! I am Debra Hoertel; on January 24, of 2018, my husband Joe and I were married 30 years. We have two grown children. Katy works two jobs; she is a nanny and a massage therapist. Robert presently works in construction, but is going to Bible college this fall. They both reside in Highland IL.
I was raised in the Minneapolis area. I have four siblings: one sister and three brothers. My father was tired of shoveling snow so when I was fourteen years old my family moved to San Diego California. I completed high school in San Diego and after graduating I went to work at a guest ranch in Tucson Arizona. It was during my time in Tucson that I earned a certificate in Optical Dispensing; I made, fitted and adjusted glasses and contacts in that industry for 13 years. It was especially fulfilling to work with low vision patients.
Joe and I met on a blind date through some mutual friends. We settled in San Diego and had our two children. We always knew we would move back to the Midwest. In 1995 we relocated to Belleville IL, where Joe was raised. We moved to Highland IL in 1996. When both the kids were in school I went back to school to earn a Bachelors degree in Information Systems. While I was in school I worked at Scott Air Force base and when I graduated, I segued into a different job at the Air Force base. I was called into ministry from that job. I have served a variety of churches since saying yes to ministry. Serving in ministry without a doubt is the most fulfilling thing I have ever done.
I love preaching and teaching the Word of God. Researching for sermons and Bible studies energize me. I love to practice various types of prayer: lectio Divina, meditation, extemporaneous as well as written prayers. I have a deep love for Hymns; they express so much wonderful theology, but at the same time, today’s Christian music touches my heart. Teamwork in worship planning is a great way to offer varied and creative ways to worship God.
My hobbies and interests include painting; I am mostly self-taught. I work in oils and acrylics; I love florals in particular. I am a voracious reader of real books and audio books. Other than the Bible and Christian classics, I like to read historical novels. Yoga and walking are my exercises of choice; they clear my mind and keep me moving.