My Friend and Fellow Worker November 25, 2022

Troell Memorial

The Lord has a way of connecting co-laborers. More than a quarter of a century ago God allowed me to get acquainted with a young man from New Jersey named Stephen Troell. He had just come to Crown College and, in the providence of God, he was placed in my dormitory. Over the years that followed we had the privilege to work on the same staff for Pastor Clarence Sexton at the Temple Baptist Church. It was a season of preparation for us both.

When we stepped out by faith into our current work seven years ago, Stephen was one of the first to say that he believed in the call of God on my life and wanted to help. And help he did. In fact, every project we have been able to produce has his fingerprints on it and his heart in it. It was a unique relationship: my closest fellow worker lived and labored more than 6,000 miles away.

The Enjoying the Journey program had a “trial run” in December of 2017. Stephen said from the beginning that it would have a far reach. ETJ has now crossed 4.6 million podcast downloads and the radio audience continues to grow. Just days ago he stressed to me again that this was just the beginning and that we had to keep the broadcast going. He purposefully worked to mentor other laborers and assist me in building a team.

Stephen was with me the night that I spoke in an outdoor meeting on the subject of “Revival Praying” from Ezra 9. Later in the car he said, “We have to put this message in print.” I laughed at his suggestion, but now 10,000 copies of that first book are in circulation. Over and over he followed the prompting of the Holy Spirit and was used to urge me forward (3 John 5-8).

The website, books, and resources were all a collaboration with my friend and fellow worker. He was full of ideas and creativity, yet always committed to the truth and the primary work we had been given. Stephen Troell was that unique combination of a great mind and a great heart – tremendous gifts, full of grace.

I spoke with Stephen just minutes before he saw Jesus. We talked about a current project and an idea for another. One of the last things he said to me was, “We just have to do more!” By God’s grace that is exactly what I want to do until, like Stephen, I see Jesus face to face.

One of the last times the Troell’s were at our home I asked Stephen to sit down and do a brief interview with me. He really didn’t want to but, under the guise of tuning some recording equipment, he finally agreed. It was a brief 8 minute discussion that covered his life verse, how he came to know Jesus personally, and a truth God was teaching him at the time. I kept the audio file but it never aired publicly. To be honest, he would not be overly pleased with the audio quality, but today it is being released as a special memorial edition on our ETJ Weekend Pulpit. I hope his words will cause you to consider, as they have me, what testimony we all will leave behind someday.

On Monday we will celebrate his life and on Tuesday his body will be laid to rest. Soon we will publish a memorial edition of our weekly e-newsletter and I look forward to sharing additional reflections in the days ahead. It is our prayer that Stephen’s passion for the gospel will spread and that his servant’s heart will multiply in many more laborers.

My last words to Stephen were, “I love you.” He was a Jonathan, a brother, a constant encourager, my friend and fellow worker. I look forward to sitting and talking together again when we meet around the throne.

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  1. Raymond Ricard on November 25, 2022 at 2:32 PM

    May the Lord raise more laborers like Stephen as we are all close to the finish line.
    With prayers.

    • Donna Thomas on November 26, 2022 at 7:40 PM

      What a blessing to read your comments on the friendship you shared with Stephen Troell! Praying for his sweet family during this difficult time. 🙏 ❤️

  2. Annetta Small on November 25, 2022 at 2:54 PM

    Thank you for this beautiful tribute. His heart for God, ministry, and for his family were so evident in his weekly updates. I never met Stephen but began following his ministry when you first mentioned him several years ago. I had the joy of corresponding with him a number of times to encourage him and his sweet family. He was always quick to reply even though his plate was full with his ministry. Truly a blessing.

  3. Nancy Marlow on November 25, 2022 at 5:54 PM

    What a testimony! Continuing to pray for his family and you as you were so close. It was definitely a blessing of God that He allowed you to speak with him in those last few minutes of his life on earth! Praying for the service as well and believe his testimony will live on and continue to touch lives.

    • Hardy Donna on November 25, 2022 at 8:58 PM

      A faithful servant of God and prayers for the family at this difficult time!

    • Hope Kakarash on November 26, 2022 at 9:45 PM

      Thank you for sharing this.
      What a great testimony he had for the Lord!

  4. Jeff Jones on November 25, 2022 at 11:50 PM

    Bro. Pauley, thank you for sharing some things about Stephen. I knew him some & held him in high regard. Over the last few days, like many other people, I’ve wiped tears from my eyes. May God bless the sacrifice of his life.

  5. Lamborn Matt on November 26, 2022 at 8:54 AM

    Nahum 1:7

  6. Patricia Neff on November 26, 2022 at 9:19 AM

    To God be the Glory, great things He has done. Prayers from Costa Rica

  7. Jenn Jones on November 26, 2022 at 9:30 AM

    Thank you for sharing. That was truly special.

  8. Peter Day on November 26, 2022 at 10:12 AM

    He was a giant in this generation!

  9. Nicole Lugo on November 26, 2022 at 11:39 AM

    What a blessing this audio is to hear! A sweet reminder to that life is a precious gift God has given us to continue to get to know Him more fully. Praying for the Troell family and for you as you miss your friend. What an example of friendship!

  10. Brother william Wilson Evangelist on November 26, 2022 at 4:38 PM

    Dear Evangelist pauley my prayers are with the Troell family for Monday and will be remembering them in prayer God be with him in Glory.

  11. Donna Thomas on November 26, 2022 at 7:41 PM

    What a blessing to read your comments on the friendship you shared with Stephen Troell! Praying for his sweet family during this difficult time. 🙏 ❤️

  12. Pastor Roger Pauley on November 27, 2022 at 7:51 AM

    What a blessing to hear my dear friend share his life verse. Little did Stephen, realize that is the same verse that challenged me many years ago to surrender my life to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have preached from this text, taught and quoted this verse many, many times. Now after some 48 years of preaching, I’m challenged and encouraged even more to Know Him better! Stephen I look forward to seeing you again soon!
    “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the Fellowship of His suffering!”

  13. Cindy Galacio-Patti on November 27, 2022 at 11:59 PM

    The Troell family has impacted us thru the years, with their devotion to serving Christ. Stephen had this vision early and sought service in many ministries. He died a hero in the faith….. in the service of the King ….. heaven is that much sweeter ….. the Galacio/ Patti Families …..

  14. Daphne Wilburn on November 28, 2022 at 12:05 AM

    What a blessing. Thank you for sharing this glimpse of this man’s life .
    What a timely testimony.

  15. Triny on November 28, 2022 at 1:34 AM

    It is sad to lose a Jonathan.😢 Sad on this side but glorious in Heaven’s side.
    He left a legacy and trusting someone will pick up the baton now that he’s “gone” but is now safe in the arms of Jesus.

    On another note …your EJT is a tremendous blessing.
    Thank you for your ministry Bro. Pauley 🙏

  16. Denise Styka on December 1, 2022 at 11:35 AM

    I had the huge blessing to see Brother Troell and Jocelyn and the kids often when they came through their Chicago home hub when they came stateside. The conversations I had with him are ones I will treasure until we meet again … this was a man that was sold out for the Lord. One of Stephen’s favorite quotes carries with it new meaning … “May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering!”

  17. Charmaine Grandin on December 2, 2022 at 8:17 AM

    He was my pastors son in law, and a wonderful God filled man. He was a great encourager to my husband and I, and to anyone who met him.

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