EL PASO, Texas - Rochelle Nieman, co-pastor at megachurch Abundant Living Faith Center and wife of pastor Charles Nieman, died Sunday morning after a lengthy cancer battle.
"It is with great sadness that we inform you that Pastor Rochelle passed away this morning surrounded by family," read a status on Charles Nieman's Facebook page Sunday afternoon. "The Nieman family truly appreciates your love, support and prayers. 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!"
Abundant Living Faith Center spokeswoman Elena Delman told ABC-7 Sunday afternoon that Rochelle Nieman died of cancer but did not specify what type of cancer it was.
Rochelle Nieman, a University of Texas at El Paso graduate, came to El Paso when she was 18 years old. She leaves behind a husband, two children and two grandchildren.
Just three days ago the family welcomed their second grandchild, Emery Rochelle.
The Niemans started their ministry in 1977 with just a few people and now their church family has more than 23,000 members.
From Abundant Living Faith Center's Rochelle Nieman bio:
Rochelle Nieman grew up in a small town in Raton, New Mexico. She is the daughter of two people who taught her to live life passionately and love abundantly. She came to El Paso at the age of 18 to attend the University of Texas at El Paso, where she not only fell the love with the city but fell in love with Charles. It was Rochelle who actually came to know the Lord first and eventually led Charles down the same road. They have been happily married since 1970 and have two children, Shannon and Jared, who have also dedicated their lives to working in the ministry.
In 1977, Charles and Rochelle Nieman began teaching God's Word in a small railroad union hall with 20 people. Since that small beginning, their church ministry has grown; and today, they pastor the 23,000+ member Abundant Living Faith Center and oversee the ever-expanding Charles Nieman Ministries.
As Co-Pastor of Abundant Living Faith Center, Rochelle directs the church administration, leads the women's ministry, acts as superintendent to the fully accredited Faith Christian Academy, and regularly teaches the church congregation in their weekly services. Rochelle has a heart for making people feel at home and welcome. Her commitment to ministry is driven by her belief that every man and woman, and every child, regardless of circumstance, must know that there is a God who loves them unconditionally and wants them to live the life He has for them.
"Not a day goes by where I am not made aware of hurting people around me and throughout the world. I believe that God has blessed us as a ministry so that we can be a blessing to others and help hurting people discover a better life. We count it a privilege and a joy to be able to teach people how to understand the Word of God and show them how to use God's Word in their lives so that they can begin to see things change." Rochelle
Under Charles' and Rochelle's leadership, Charles Nieman Ministries is known as a ministry who teaches the good news of Jesus Christ and physically demonstrates compassion to hurting people around the world. Pastors Charles' and Rochelle's influence continues to grow, but, regardless of size or scale, their goal remains the same: to partner with others to make a difference.
ABC-7 Web Editor Leonard Martinez contributed to this report