Parkinson’s diagnosis ‘not a death sentence,’ CedarCreek’s Powell tells flock

Lee Powell, senior pastor of CedarCreek Church, announced to his congregation that he has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

Lee Powell, senior pastor of CedarCreek Church, said his diagnosis will give him and his wife Joi "the opportunity to share the gospel with many people whom we would otherwise never cross paths with." / Photo by David Yonke/Toledo Faith & Values

Lee Powell, senior pastor of CedarCreek Church, said his diagnosis will give him and his wife Joi “the opportunity to share the gospel with many people whom we would otherwise never cross paths with.” / Photo by David Yonke/Toledo Faith & Values

“Many of you are aware that over the past few months I have developed a tremor in my hand and I have been up-front in my sermons regarding this affliction,” he said in an email. “After a few more symptoms materialized, [my wife] Joi and I took my doctor’s advice to go to the Cleveland Clinic. The good news is we finally have a diagnosis for a series of symptoms, including my obvious tremor. Unfortunately the bad news is it is Parkinson’s’”

The founding pastor of what has grown into the largest church in northwest Ohio, Powell said his doctors will first treat a problem he’s been having with sleep deprivation, after which they will address the other aspects of Parkinson’s.

According to webmd.com, “Parkinson’s disease affects the nerve cells in the brain that produce dopamine. Parkinson’s disease symptoms include muscle rigidity, tremors, and changes in speech and gait. After diagnosis, treatments can help relieve symptoms, but there is no cure.”

Symptoms can often be effectively controlled for years with medication, the medical website said.

Among the high-profile people with Parkinson’s are Billy Graham, Pope John Paul II, Linda Ronstadt, Janet Reno, Johnny Cash and Michael J. Fox.

Powell expressed optimism in his email. “Most people do respond well with the treatment and research is advancing with this disease,” he said. “Joi and I both feel this is not a death sentence and are thoroughly educating ourselves. At this time we don’t have all the answers, so please give us a week or two as we continue to learn about this new challenge.”

He said he plans to continue preaching and will remain active as CedarCreek’s senior pastor, using video teachings as a backup plan when his schedule makes it necessary. He plans to attend monthly support meetings in Cleveland with others who have Parkinson’s.

Saying that “God knows what he is doing and God is good,” Powell said a silver lining of the diagnosis is that he and his wife have an opportunity “to share the gospel with many people whom we would otherwise never cross paths with. … Joi and I appreciate all your love and support. We covet your prayers during this time and we’ll keep you updated.”

The nondenominational CedarCreek Church held its first service at the French Quarter hotel in Perrysburg in October, 1995 with 180 people in attendance. It now has  weekly attendance of more than 10,000 at four campuses — Perrysburg, West Toledo, Whitehouse and South Toledo — and also has an “internet campus.”

 

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7 Responses to “Parkinson’s diagnosis ‘not a death sentence,’ CedarCreek’s Powell tells flock”

  1. bill bower

    will be praying 4 your family. thank u 4 all your good work . amem

    Reply
  2. Kathy Appleton

    Dear Lee and Joi,

    I was at that first meeting in the French Quarter. It is absolutely mind blowing how God has used you both to start a movement of Christ followers in NW Ohio. You will be in my prayers. Let your light shine as you begin this journey. I will keep up with you through Mark and Pam. You are in the shelter of His hands – a very good place to be.
    Peace and be well,
    Kathy Bernard Appleton

    Reply
  3. Rev. Sherry & Henry Schermbeck

    Please know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. Our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren attend Cedar Creek and you are doing great ministry there. God is good always and in all ways.

    Reply
  4. Jordan

    Mr.Powell, you have my family’s, and my own blessings! I am a Fusion student at the Creek, and it has been amazing! You have been a big part of the reason I joined the church also! I had seen some of your sermons on TV, and some on the internet, and it was very interesting to me.. You make it fun, while also getting the word of our great Lord around! I hope that this works out great for you, and your family. Good luck to you all!

    Reply
  5. Gretchen

    Our love to you Lee!!!

    Reply
  6. Lee Powell quote -- March 25, 2014 | Toledo Faith & Values

    […] “Most people do respond well with the treatment and research is advancing with this disease. [My wife] Joi and I both feel this is not a death sentence and are thoroughly educating ourselves. At this time we don’t have all the answers, so please give us a week or two as we continue to learn about this new challenge.” — Lee Powell, senior pastor of CedarCreek Church, on his Parkinson’s diagnosis […]

    Reply
    • Mark and Jane Graybell

      We are praying for healing from God for you. God parted the Red Sea, he knows every hair on our head, made the world in 6 days and rested on the 7th. God can do anything! We are praying for you and your family during this time. Thank you for binging my husband and I to GOD!

      Reply

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