Michael Paul Messerli was born on November 11th 1950, in Manchester Iowa. He was the eldest son of Paul and Benita Messerli. He spent his formative years in Oskaloosa, Iowa along with his 2 younger brothers Mitch and Marty. He was later introduced to his sisters, Peggy and Susie.
Mike always said that I.O.W.A. was just an acronym for "Iowan’s Out Wandering Around", and he was no exception. After finishing High School he made his way to Siloam Springs, Arkansas where he received his degree in Biblical and Theological Studies at John Brown University. He held down an eclectic array of jobs while in college including, working at a cannery, driving a school bus, and even working as a newspaper photographer. It was one of his first jobs out of college that changed his life forever.
While serving as an assistant pastor at a church in Fort Smith, Arkansas he met the Joye of his life, a young woman named Joye Salley. Never have two people loved each other as fiercely as they loved the Lord. After a three month courtship they married and never looked back.
Many might not know, but Mike was an ordained Quaker minister, and as such held pastoring positions in several Quaker, or “Friends”, churches around the Country. Buffalo Friends Church in Buffalo, Iowa is where they welcomed their first child, their son Ian. Later, Tulsa Friends Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma where they were joined by their daughter Lindsay.
Taking what was supposed to be a short break from the ministry, Mike entered the business world when he took a Crude Oil Purchaser’s position with Pride Refinery in Oklahoma City. He ended up working for Pride for 18 years where he cultivated his innate ability to form loyal and lasting relationships with people from all walks of life.
Having been relocated to Texas through the oil company he sought out a home church for his family to attend. That began his time with Crossroads Bible Church where he became Assistant Pastor of Small Groups and forged many of his most meaningful relationships.
The years following his time at Crossroads Bible he found a career path that few were designed more perfectly for than Mike Messerli, hospice chaplain. He relished the opportunity to share the word of God with people, and hear their stories as he helped them finish their journey on this earth. He loved, rooted for, and prayed for every one of the people that he was fortunate enough to share their final days with.
Mike Messerli loved coffee, a good meal, bad science fiction movies, bicycles, motorcycles, gadgets and photography, but nothing on earth gave him more joy than sharing time with his family and spreading the Gospel. With missionary work from Haiti to Russia he spread the Word. He was an impassioned orator of the Bible, a counselor in Faith, a practitioner of Grace and a beacon of Christ’s love.
Mike Messerli went home on April 20th, 2023 in the loving embrace of his wife and children. Whenever he spoke of himself he would simply say “I’m just an old pastor trying to finish well.” I believe that anyone who knew him would say that he most certainly did.
Mike was preceded in death by his father Paul Messerli, brother Martin Messerli, Niece Dez Messerli and nephew Chad Messerli. He is survived by his wife Joye Messerli of Denton, Texas, son Ian Messerli (Tiffany) of Denton; his Daughter Lindsay Messerli (Krys Ward) of Denton; his mother Benita Messerli of Oskaloosa, Iowa; brother Mitch Messerli (Linda) of New Sharon; Iowa, sisters Peggy Stanton (Shannon) of Oskaloosa, Iowa; and Susan Messerli of Dunedin, Florida, and his grandchildren Lucy, Martin, Alice, George and Vaughn.
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