Rev. Paul Poole felt the call to ministry as a teenager |
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Rev. Paul Poole felt the call to ministry as a teenager

Joe Napsha

As a teenager growing up in the East Huntingdon village of Tarrs in the early 1970s, Paul D. Poole found the path he would follow the rest of his life.

“He felt the call to serve in the ministry at age 16. He was influenced by his pastor, Wesley Jantsen,” said his wife of 40 years, Sharon Kasparek Poole.

Following his calling after graduating from Southmoreland High School, he went to Central Bible College in Springfield, Mo.

That sent him on a journey serving God for the remainder of his life — 41 years.

The Rev. Paul D. Poole, 63, of Irwin, died Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, at West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh, three weeks after being diagnosed with cancer.

He was born Dec. 5, 1955, in Mt. Pleasant, the son of the late William R. and Marjorie Hillen Poole.

He met Sharon Kasparek of Irwin when they attended an Assembly of God summer camp in Cherry Tree in northern Indiana County in 1977, Poole said. The couple were married in 1979.

Rev. Poole took his first position as youth pastor with the Tree of Life Assembly of God church in Latrobe.

It was a perfect calling for him because he loved people, Mrs. Poole said.

“He loved encouraging people,” Mrs. Poole said. “He had a call to help people find Jesus Christ.”

After serving at the Tree of Life Church in Latrobe, he became an assistant pastor at an Assembly of God church in Beaver Falls and then in Edgewater, Md.

He became lead pastor in New Castle and then returned to Tree of Life in Latrobe, where he was lead pastor for 12{1/2} years, Mrs. Poole said. They returned to Beaver Falls in 2000, where he served for 17{1/2} years as lead pastor.

While serving in Beaver Falls, his son, the Rev. Nicholas Poole, became lead pastor at Calvary Church in Irwin in 2011. Paul Poole returned to Irwin to serve under his son as a connections pastor. He was responsible for visitation with parishioners and connecting with people who needed to talk to a pastor, Sharon Poole said.

In May, he suffered a broken neck when he fell in Irwin, Poole said. He underwent nine hours of surgery because of damaged vertebrae, but was able to recover and resume walking, Poole said.

“It was a miracle,” she said.

She spent their 40th wedding anniversary with him while he was recovering in the hospital.

As part of his ministry, they went on mission trips over the past 30 years to El Salvador, Romania and Panama, she said.

His faith was strong enough that he remained a Pittsburgh Pirates fan despite their recent 20-year losing streak.

In addition to his wife and son, he also is survived by a daughter, Natasha Poole of Beaver Falls; three grandchildren; and two brothers.

The family will receive friends from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Monday and 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesday at the William Snyder Funeral Home, 521 Main St., Irwin. Additional viewing will be from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Calvary Church, 8653 Pennsylvania Ave., North Huntingdon, with a funeral service following at 6:30 p.m. Mourners will gather at 9 a.m. Wednesday at Calvary Church for a procession to Brush Creek Cemetery, Irwin, for the interment.

Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at 724-836-5252, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | Obituaries
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