Capstone of the Call Eric Shadle Ordained to Pastoral Ministry

"It was humbling and awe-inspiring…It was like the capstone to the long journey into pastoral ministry.” These were the words of Eric Shadle, M.D., as he reflected on the experience of ordination to the pastoral ministry.

Indeed, the Sabbath afternoon ceremony on Jan.13, 2007, at the church in Richland, Wash., signified the recognition of this gifted leader's call to ministry, enabling him to serve as a Seventh-day Adventist pastor anywhere in the world.

After growing up with the constant desire to be a physician, Shadle found a different calling tugging at his heart in his senior year of high school. When he enrolled at Andrews University the next year, Shadle began a course of study that would prepare him for both ministry and medicine.

Shadle attended Loma Linda University Medical School and specialized in obstetrics and gynecology, becoming a physician for the U.S. Navy. When his Naval service ended, he opened a private medical practice in Rockford, Ill., that thrived, yet that still didn’t quiet the calling to ministry that he had begun to feel years before.

A passion for ministry and a career in medicine led Shadle to accept the position of health ministry director for the Illinois Conference on a volunteer basis while he continued to practice medicine and struggle to understand precisely how God wanted to use him.

Convinced that it was pastoral ministry that God was calling him to, he, after a great deal of prayer and discussion with his wife Pamela, determined that the only way he could fulfill God’s request was to sell his practice and enter full-time pastoral ministry. Initially planning to seek a pastoral assignment and then sell the practice, Eric and Pamela agreed that the same God who called would also provide, and they sold the practice first.

It would be after that step of faith that the requests would begin to pour in from several conferences, including Upper Columbia.

“When Gerald Haeger first talked with me about the Richland Church, somehow I knew that it was the one.” What Shadle didn’t know is that the congregation had already narrowed a long list of candidates down to three and weren’t willing to add a new person to the short list. However, after not feeling that either of the three were the perfect fit, ministerial director Haeger gladly told them about Shadle and God worked out the rest.

Shadle’s dreams for the Richland Church are for them “to be united as a team in outreach to their community” and to make an impact for the kingdom of heaven where God has planted them.

Featured in: March 2007