Deborah Fortel serves as moderator of the Presbytery of Ohio Valley and is an Associate Certified Coach through the International Coach Federation. Her training/education as a coach was through Auburn Seminary.
She has served in congregations of various sizes, including eleven years as pastor/head of staff of a mid-size suburban congregation near Minneapolis and as interim pastor for seven congregations. In addition, she served as a resource person for committees on ministry through the Vocation Agency of the PC(USA) and as Executive Director of a congregationally-based community service agency in St. Louis. She graduated from Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis and completed a D. Min. at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Her doctoral project was a narrative study of five flourishing pastoral- and program-size congregations.
She has worked as a consultant with several congregations and one presbytery. Her coaching practice is primarily with pastors and other church professionals.
Louisville, Kentucky is home to Deborah and her husband, David Sawyer. They are the parents of four children and the grandparents of four, each of whom is extraordinary, of course. Deborah is an enthusiastic cook, an energetic gardener, at least in the spring, and is grateful for the gifts of life and love, useful work to do and the pleasures of family time, friends, travel, reading and learning.