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Daniel J. Vassell Sr.

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Dr. Daniel J. Vassell Sr., 64, was many things — a husband, father, grandfather and reverend — but one thing was certain: he was a visible representation of joy. You could always feel his presence in the way he lit up a room and welcomed all who graced him because his laughter would radiate contagiously throughout any space. Whether he knew you for 20 years or had just met you, you were immediately his friend. Some of his favorite things in the world were his family, traveling, ministering and his impressively large vegetable garden full of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, spinach and more.

Daniel Vassell was born Dec. 20, 1957, in Jamaica, to David and Louise Vassell. His late father was a minister, and Daniel was converted at an early age with a strong desire to serve God.

He began his college career in the world of fashion design, later teaching fashion design in a high school. However, in 1976, God called him into the ministry. He served his home church as the youth pastor. He then started studying and received his exhorter license in 1982; his ordained minister license in 1984, and his ordained bishop license in 1988. He then furthered his education by earning his bachelor of education (B.A.) in 1994 at Tyndale University in Ontario, Canada; his M.A. and D.Min. degrees in Christian counseling from the Pentecostal Theological Seminary (PTS) in 2004 and 2010, respectively.

He served the Church of God as the director of youth and Christian education, as a district youth director and then as a senior pastor. Furthermore, the Church of God called him to serve in the international offices in the following capacities: director of state youth and Christian education, director of international youth and discipleship, coordinator of cross-cultural youth and singles ministry, director of state evangelism and home missions, member of the Council of Eighteen, representative for world missions, administrative bishop of Ontario, Canada, and dean of Mobilize for the division of education.

He always poured himself into any ministry he was called to do. His latest ministry, as the dean of Mobilize in the division of education, was no different. He took the Lay Leadership Development program (LLD) and upgraded it. Then, he developed and added three other phases — lay leader, lay worker and lay minister — to the original LLD program. This is a training ministry for laity of the Church of God, which helps the pastor in local church ministry. The Mobilize program flourished under his leadership where he worked diligently since August of 2016. He will be greatly missed in the division of education.

He was also noted for his marriage and family counseling seminars, which he and his wife, Jenny, conducted in the Caribbean Islands, Canada, Africa, Europe and the USA. Books which he authored and used in these seminars include “The Love Factor in Marriage (for couples),” “The Love Factor in Marriage: Truths to Explore Before Saying, 'I Do,’” “Living the Blessing-Filled Life — NOW” and “The EPIC Marriage: The Spirit-Empowered Living.” He also filmed several videos in the studios of the division of education on marriage and counseling.

Daniel Vassell and Jenny Vernon Vassell were married in Toronto, Canada, in 1983 and served together in joy, life and ministry for the entire 39 years of their marriage. Through thick and thin, they loved each other deeply and traveled the world together. They made their home in Cleveland. They have two children: a daughter, Aleah, who is married to Mason, and a son, James, who is married to Angela. Daniel found great pride in his children and would spend much time listening to their adventures, goals, dreams and imparting wisdom along the way.

James and Angela have two granddaughters, Amari and Ariah, who were Daniel’s treasures. Sometimes he would quietly steal away on his work lunch break for a chance to see them. From his beautiful bride, to his children, his grandchildren, his brothers, sisters and mother, Daniel's family had been the love of his life and his first and most important ministry.

He is survived by 12 siblings, Peter Vassell, Samuel Vassell, Phillip Vassell, Timothy Vassell, Solomon Vassell, Paul Vassel, Pamela Vassell, Salomie Johnson, Patricia Slater, Hannah Frazier, Dorcas Vassell and Rhoda Dyer; and 62 nieces and nephews. He will be greatly missed by all.

A Celebration of His Life will be conducted at 11 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 5, 2022, at North Cleveland Church of God with Dr. Tim Hill and Bishop Dr. Stafford Peterson officiating.

Interment will follow at 1 p.m. at Sunset Memorial Gardens with Stafford Peterson, Andrew Binda, Devon Dixon, Mike Reynolds, Trevor Supermony, Wayne Vernon, Leonard Johnson, Paul Vassell and Shawn Howard serving as pallbearers. Donavan Dyer, LeRoy Fraser and Delroy Fraser will serve as honorary pallbearers. A white dove release ceremony and the playing of the bagpipes will conclude the service.

The family will receive friends from 3 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, at Ralph Buckner Funeral Home and Crematory, and also from 10 to 11 a.m. on Monday at the church prior to the service.

We invite you to send a message of condolence and view the Vassell family guestbook at www.ralphbuckner.com

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