Texas Megachurch Co-Pastor Dies of Cancer

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By Michael Gryboski , Christian Post Reporter
December 31, 2012|1:04 pm

A pastor from Texas who along with her husband oversaw the dramatic growth of a megachurch has died after a lengthy battle with cancer.

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Pastor Rochelle Nieman of Abundant Living Faith Center of El Paso succumbed to cancer after a lengthy battle with the illness on Sunday morning. On his Facebook page, Rochelle's husband and widower Pastor Charles Nieman posted a message regarding the personal tragedy.

"It is with great sadness that we inform you that Pastor Rochelle passed away this morning surrounded by family. The Nieman family truly appreciates your love, support & prayers," wrote Nieman.

"We will inform everyone of the funeral schedule once it is finalized. Please be advised that ALL church services will go on as scheduled. God Bless You!"

A native of Raton, New Mexico, Rochelle and her husband began preaching at Abundant Living in 1977 to a group of about 20 people. Presently, Abundant Living boasts of having an estimated 23,000 parishioners in El Paso alone.

"Since 1977, we've been showing people just like you, that God's Word is applicable and relevant to everyday life. We have ministries for the whole family. We offer services and state of the art facilities for adults, teens, kids and babies," reads the "Welcome" section of the church's website.

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"Enjoy live praise and worship, practical life teaching and grab some coffee from one of our cafés. Come and see for yourself, and while you're at it, bring your family and make some new friends. We'd love to see you soon. God is on your side!"

Condolences for Pastor Nieman have poured out from those who know him and belong to Abundant Living, as comments on Facebook note. As of Monday morning, Nieman's posted remarks regarding his wife's passing received over 1,100 likes, more than 760 comments, and around 275 shares.

"Our hearts are broken as we share in your loss. A tremendous woman of God, another angel has been called home. Charles, we will continue to keep [you] and your family in our prayers," posted Liz Jacobo-Primera.

"She was a beautiful lady. May her memories comfort you and your family in this time of loss. Memories that keep the one you love close to you in spirit and thought and always in your heart, today and forever. She will live on in the hearts of all of us and everyone who love her," posted Roberto Ellis.

Rochelle and Charles Nieman were married in 1970. Rochelle is survived by her husband and two children, Shannon and Jared.

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