A Tribute to Debbie Sloan


grief sorrow

Grieving Debbie


Sometimes in leadership we face deep sorrow, and this week at South Hills we lost one of our own.   Debbie Sloan passed away on Saturday morning after a long battle with cancer. She was/is loved by all who knew her. She was a tremendous asset to our team, a bright light in the office, and I personally will miss her.  Today, rather than attempt to give you some deeply profound insight, I have chosen to simply let other staff members share about our dearly loved Debbie.

I only had the privilege of knowing Debbie since this past March when I came on staff at South Hills. Though it was too short of a time, I  am confident of seeing her again in Heaven. Debbie always put her family first. She was a very devoted Mother. When she spoke of her husband and children, you could feel the deep love she had for them. She never complained about having cancer, for the longest time, I never even knew she had cancer. She was very brave in her battle. No doubt that she finished her race well and heard the words from our Father, “Well done good and faithful servant”. – Beverly Querin

Debbie was tough, she didn’t want anyone to feel sorry for her. She only talked about her journey with cancer if asked and even then would always talk about it being in God’s hands. She was madly devoted to her husband and loved and cherished her two kids of who she was very proud of. She was also a servant, with a servant’s heart. She loved the staff and people of South Hills and the feeling is mutual.  – Van Metschke

I had the privilege of working with Debbie for about 3 years, she was my personal assistant who took pride in her job and never settled for average. She was a very strong woman who made a tremendous impact on everyone she made contact with. She is truly a woman of God who valued others and made others feel better about themselves every time she had contact with them. I will truly miss her. She can never be replaced and will never be forgotten. She is truly a model of what it means to be selfless and a true servant. Although she worked part time she put in a full time effort. She volunteered several hours a week and always went above and beyond her roles and responsibilities. She not only added value to ministry she added value to my personal life. My wife (Jill) and I will always have a special place in our heart for Debbie and the foot prints she left in our lives.  We love you Debbie and will miss you tremendously.  – Moses Camacho

Debbie always made the extra effort to meet other people’s needs…especially children.  I occasionally bring my daughter to work with me and she always would stop and chat with her. One time last year my daughter was a bit bored, Debbie saw a need.  She just happend to have some playdough in her desk, and made a special trip to my desk to bring my daughter the playdough to play with.  That was the kind of person Debbie was, and I will miss her.    – Diana Thompson

Debbie was one of the most dedicated and selfless people I’ve ever met. She gave her all to whatever she had her hands on, but she would never hesitate to set that aside if a friend or coworker needed help. She was always a joy to talk to and knew how to have fun and yet get stuff done at the same time. Debbie will be DEARLY missed, but never forgotten! – Jolene Campbell

I worked on staff with Debbie for the past year and she instantly became one of the best people to stop by and chat with. She was so funny and passionate about the church being all it had the potential to be in a city. She was a huge cheerleader anytime I would get the chance to preach on the weekends and was a STRONG supporter of Remnant, our NextGen ministry at South Hills. She made a point to encourage me in all that God wanted to do through our ministry. Debbie demonstrated a love for the church that was contagious. She gave her last years on this earth to connecting people outside of Christ to a community of people who would love, support, and challenge them to be all God wanted them to be. God saw fit to promote one of his precious daughters a little early to heaven and I fill honored to have had the chance to know her before he did. See you again Debbie… Pastor Chris Harrell

During my years of employment at various companies, many people have crossed my life’s path and I praise and thank God that He made sure Debbie was one of those people because she has left an everlasting mark on my life that I will never forget.  Her positive outlook and bravery battling cancer was an inspiration to me.  My memories I have of her will live on forever in the gifts she taught me of strength, courage & love.  She was a fighter and a woman of tremendous faith.  Debbie was the epitome of our mission statement: “Turning unchurched people into fully devoted followers of Christ”.  She did that by connecting people through our Small Groups Ministry and beyond that to reaching out to family, friends and strangers.  Her love of family and friends touched me in a way to not take any thing for granted, to value and embrace life each and every day and live life to its fullest.  Thank you Debbie, your legacy continues on in my life and the lives you have touched here on earth.  I miss you but will see you in Heaven! ~Shirley

Debbie was one of the kindest and most generous people I knew.  She loved God, her family, and others the way we are called to.  She was constantly connecting people in to the family of God with excitement and enthusiasm.   Her strength was like no ones I have ever seen….you couldn’t even tell she was dealing with something so heavy….she always had a smile on her face cheering everyone else on and celebrating life with them.  Her family is such a testament to the wife, mother and woman of God she was.  She left many loved ones behind….but she left us with her strength, courage, wisdom, knowledge, and love.   For what we have learned from her I am forever grateful.   – Mary Sinson

Until next time,

Chris Sonken


About Chris Sonksen

Chris Sonksen is the founder and Lead Pastor of South Hills Church and has an exceptional ability to inspire both secular and non-secular audiences. Under his leadership, South Hills has experienced phenomenal growth and in just a few short years has grown from a handful of people to nearly 3000 in attendance today. Today South Hills has become a thriving, multi-service and multi-site church. Chris has a magnetic, captivating and humorous style for motivating and inspiring all audiences. As a motivational speaker, he has spoken both nationally and internationally in companies such as Verizon, Securitas and Home Depot, and there is no doubt that by applying his teachings, his audience will improve the quality of their lives! Chris is the author of two books In Search of Higher Ground and Handshake. Chris is the founder of Celera Church Strategy Group an organization with an unwavering commitment to excellence in all things, with the goal to “raise the national average of church attendance,” by equipping church leaders with resources and coaching. Chris brings high-energy focus and a passion for vision and leadership to encourage and equip the local Church. Chris is a native Californian, born in Long Beach and currently resides in Corona with his wife, Laura and their two children, Grace and Aidan.

Posted on October 16, 2010, in Relationships, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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