Vagle humbled by ‘Citizen of Year’ award

by Dennis Dalman –

Pastor Doug Vagle was stunned with surprise when one day recently someone showed up at his office carrying balloons and telling him he has been honored as “Sartell Citizen of the Year” by the Sartell Area Chamber of Commerce.

Vagle was stunned and surprised because he never expects to be rewarded for the kinds of service he loves to do anyway.

“I was absolutely so humbled,” he said to the Newsleader. “I’m never looking for an honor. I love to serve because it’s my calling.”

Vagle, who is the pastor of The Waters church, was officially recognized April 11 at the annual Sartell Area Chamber of Commerce banquet, along with “Senior Citizen Volunteer of the Year” Ron Hurd, (see related feature story in this edition). The winner of the “Sartell Business of the Year” was announced as a surprise on the banquet night (to be featured in the April 19 edition as news was unavailable at press time).

Vagle was honored for his many volunteer activities that help make Sartell a better place to live. He serves, for example, as the Sartell Police Department chaplain. He, his family and parishioners, also do a tremendous amount of volunteer activities for the Sartell-St. Stephen School District – its students, staff and teachers.

“We love to give back to Sartell,” Vagle said.

One of the mottos of The Waters church is this: “Families are our passion and kids are our priority.”

“That’s our driving force,” Vagle said.

That commitment inspires Vagle, his family and congregation to extend that caring beyond the church and its members, to all who live in the Sartell area.

“The mission of our church is to love God, love people and love life,” Vagle said. “So part of that mission is to live, love and serve others.”

Born in Hancock, Mich., Vagle’s family moved to Minnesota when he was 2 years old. He grew up in various places, such as Paynesville and Hutchinson and then graduated from Bloomington’s Kennedy High School. He then went on to flight school and became a commercial pilot of the Merry Maids Corp. Still later, he decided to study at North Central University in Minneapolis, where he earned a degree in Christian studies. For 10 years he was a youth pastor in Brainerd, and then he and his family moved to Sartell in 2007, where he and his wife, Peggy, founded The Waters church, an affiliate of Assemblies of God. The Vagles have three young children: Abby, Nathaniel and Sophia.

About 750 to 800 people regularly attend The Waters church for weekend services, and up to 2,000 people in the area call it their home church. In keeping with its dedication to families and children, the church offers a preschool, a nursery and a separate children’s worship service during the regular adult services. In addition, there are four youth pastors for The Waters for the teenagers and the more than 250 children ages 12 and under who attend church with their families.

The church is now expanding its sanctuary area, from a 300-seat capacity to 600. The addition is expected to be completed by this September.

The Waters church is located at 1227 Pinecone Road N. To learn more about The Waters, go to its website at

Pastor Doug Vagle's family includes wife Peggy and children (left to right) Sophia, Abby and Nathaniel.

[/media-credit] Pastor Doug Vagle’s family includes wife Peggy and children (left to right) Sophia, Abby and Nathaniel.

Dennis Dalman

Dennis Dalman

Dalman was born and raised in South St. Cloud, graduated from St. Cloud Tech High School, then graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in English (emphasis on American and British literature) and mass communications (emphasis on print journalism). He studied in London, England for a year (1980-81) where he concentrated on British literature, political science, the history of Great Britain and wrote a book-length study of the British writer V.S. Naipaul. Dalman has been a reporter and weekly columnist for more than 30 years and worked for 16 of those years for the Alexandria Echo Press.
Dennis Dalman
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