YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – The Reverend Doctor James “Jim” Arthur Sabella wholeheartedly loved and served his Lord, his family and the missionaries and people of Southeast Europe.

Born August 9, 1958, to Joel and Nancy (Venditti) Sabella in Youngstown, Ohio, Jim went to be with Jesus on Thursday, October 20, 2022, in Nixa, Missouri, following a two-year battle with cancer.

Jim graduated from Hubbard High School in 1976. He obtained a BS in Biblical Studies from University of Valley Forge in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, an MA in Bible and Theology from Continental Theological Seminary in Brussels, Belgium, a Master of Theology Degree from University of Wales and a Doctor of Ministry from George Fox University in Portland, Oregon.

On June 26, 1982, Jim married Sherry (Miller) Sabella. For 40 years, Jim and Sherry loved and cared for each other. To their marriage two sons were born: Philip James and Jonathan Richard. They were the pride and joy of Jim’s life.

Jim was ordained as a minister with the Assemblies of God USA (Pennsylvania/Delaware Ministry Network). He served as a youth pastor at Binghamton First AG in Binghamton, New York and as lead pastor of Bethel Chapel AG in York, Pennsylvania and Mifflinburg AG in Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania.

In 1994, Jim and Sherry were commissioned as missionaries with the Assemblies of God World Missions (AGWM) to the Czech Republic. There they engaged in church planting and Bible School teaching, established pastoral training courses, and led the nation’s Global University program. Of the Czech Republic Jim said, “My heart will always be there.”

In 2004, Jim and Sherry were appointed Area Directors for AGWM’s Central Europe area. In 2012, they were appointed Area Directors for the Central and Southeast Europe area, and in 2017, as Area Directors for the Southeast Europe area. Jim was AGWM’s longest-serving Area Director.

Jim’s greatest joy in ministry was to visit Roma villages across Europe, spreading the message of life and hope in Jesus. He rejoiced as revival swept Roma communities, saying, “I have never, ever seen anything like it. No one can take credit for starting it. Christ the King has gone into the highways and byways, inviting whosoever will to come to His table. And the Roma are coming in droves.”

In 2012, Jim founded Europe’s Heart, a ministry to people on the margins of society –particularly the Roma of Eastern Slovakia. As Director, Jim ability to call out the inherent value in others shone distinctly.

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 have finished the race, I have 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 cherished wife Sherry; his sons, Philip of Williamstown, New Jersey and Jonathan of Los Angeles, California; his mother, Nancy of Hubbard, Ohio; his brothers, Mark (Jean) of Olean, New York and Rev. Randy (Dorey) of Newfield, New Jersey and several nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held Wednesday, December 14 at 10:30 a.m. at Christian Life Assembly, 2645 Lisburn Road, Camp Hill, PA 17011. Rev. Dr. Greg Mundis, Executive Director of Assemblies of God World Missions, will officiate. The service will be live streamed, allowing family and friends worldwide to share in the celebration of Jim’s life.

Local arrangements handled by Stewart-Kyle Funeral Home. Family and friends are invited to visit the funeral home website at to share memories and condolences.

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