Four and a half years ago, Nathaniel Gamble became an associate pastor at Littleton Seventh-day Adventist Church. On Sabbath, May 6, dozens of church members came to support him and witness his ordination to the Gospel ministry at the very church he attended when he was younger. They were also joined by members from churches he served or is currently serving. 

“Having attended the Littleton Church as a youngster, it was great to see him being ordained in the church of his youth. Some even remembered him from those early days. It just reaffirms how important it is for all of our churches to take good care of our youth. You just never know where they will end up someday,” commented Mickey Mallory, the Rocky Mountain Conference ministerial director. 

Following the service, Nathaniel said, “I was very surprised by the large turnout of people who came to my ordination, and it was a pleasant surprise.” He added that “it was incredibly special to me to see all the support I received from Aspen Park, Fort Lupton, Denver West, Lakewood Fellowship, Golden, Littleton, Mile High Academy, and the Conference office. That support and encouragement was probably the best gift of the whole service.”

The service was led by RMC leaders. Leading the ordination prayer was Mic Thurber, RMC president, and ministry affirmation was presented by RMC Secretary Doug Inglish. As with similar services, theirs was a reminder that an ordination service is not so much the bestowal of a pastoral calling by Conference leadership as much as it is the recognition by the people of God of a call to pastoral ministry that He has already given a person.

“It was wonderful to celebrate that call with so many church members, past and present,” Nathaniel, whose name means “Gift of God,” later commented.

In his life sketch, Nathaniel, a Colorado native, recalls God’s call and leading, but also his wrestling with faith and doubt for several years. “God deepened my faith in the deity and resurrection of Jesus. Since being called to the pastorate, God has shaped my ministry through two callings: to always preach the gospel and to always take religious liberty seriously by highlighting God’s character to advocate for the poor and voiceless,” he stated.

Nathaniel’s mother insisted he and his sister attend Adventist schools. “It was Adventist education that introduced me to the denomination and Jesus,” he added. Pastor Nathaniel’s mother, Debra Gamble, and grandmother, Betty Carol, attended his ordination.

Pastor Nathaniel is well-known for his scholarship in Biblical Theology. He received his Master of Arts in theology at Denver Seminary and is completing his PhD at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. “God deepened my faith in the messiahship and faithfulness of Jesus, by teaching me lessons of obedience, trust, and listening to the Holy Spirit,” he shared.

“Preach the Word is the greatest honor,” said Pastor Dan McGrath from Metropolitan Seventh-day Adventist Church in Detroit. Friendship between Nathaniel and Dan goes back to the time they met in Grand Rapids. Dan still remembers the themes and titles of several sermons Nathaniel preached at his church. 

Mickey Mallory commented Nathaniel’s “insights into Scripture which have helped many to bond with Christ.”

“Pastor Nathaniel’s ordination was a testimony to the power of God. It demonstrates how, when a person is willing to follow God’s calling on their life, God can work wonders through them,” he added.

In an Ordination Response, the newly ordained pastor shared one of his favorite mission stories about two young men from the early 1700s attending a Moravian churchordination service in Germany. David Nitschman and John Leonard Dober were listening to their pastor about a slave master in the West Indies who owned his own island and operated a massive plantation. He treated his slaves brutally, not allowing any preacher or missionary, any religious writing, or any worship service on his island. His slaves would live and die without ever hearing the gospel or that Jesus loved them.

Nathaniel continued the story, that connected him with the meaning of being a missionary for Jesus. David and John decided to challenge the situation and boarded a boat to the West Indies. As they walked onto the vessel, their families started to cry because they knew they would never see the two young men again. And, as the ship cast off and the gap grew larger and larger between the vessel and those standing on the dock, one of the young men shot his fist into the air and called across the gulf, “May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of his suffering!”

Concluding, Nathaniel raised his hand and repeated as his ministerial motto, “May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of his suffering!”