Cover photo for Maxine Louise Bernard Steiding's Obituary
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1934 Maxine 2023

Maxine Louise Bernard Steiding

January 18, 1934 — August 24, 2023

Beckley, WV

Reverend Maxine Louise Bernard Steiding died on Thursday, August 24, 2023. She was born at home at the family farm on January 18, 1934 to her wonderful parents, Lambert Riley Bernard and Hazel Ellen Howell. She was an ordained minister, a teacher, and a leader influencing countless lives.

Maxine attended a one-room school known as Black Hawk for six grades. She was moved to a two-room school for grade 7 at North Glade. Then, she entered Oakland High School in what was known then as an 8th grader - the first to begin this grade and graduated from Oakland High School in 1951. She served as the secretary to Sanders Motor Freight in Oakland, MD until October 1951. Feeling the call of God on her life, she then entered Zion Bible College in East Providence, RI. This was interrupted Easter 1952 when she was called home due to serious heart attacks of her mother. She missed a year of school and became the full-time caretaker of younger brothers and sisters and assisting her mother in the household duties - whether it was caring for children, assisting in housework - be it cooking, washing dishes, cleaning or working in the garden and canning, she never found it a burden, but a blessing to be a daughter and friend to her mother. When it was made known she had not gone back to college, Sanders Motor Freight contacted her to come back as an employee. She said, “When I finish the canning season, I will come.” Then, her job became important and she reasoned “God, I did not stop college, you let it be interrupted, BUT God got ahold of her heart.” She wrote to Zion and asked if there was a vacancy she could return.  The next morning, she received a telegram: “Space available, please return” which she did and graduated in May 1955.

She was raised in the neighborhood Lutheran church where she walked a mile to Sunday School.  In October 1949, her brother, Roland took her with him and his date, now wife, Norma, to a revival meeting where Maxine heard a sermon and knelt at the back of the tabernacle at her seat and gave her heart to God. At high school, she was open with giving her testimony and where she once had been a popular student, belonging to 4 clubs and serving as a reporter to the high school newspaper, she became ridiculed, but continued with her new-born faith with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

It was at Zion that she met her future husband, the Reverend Irvin Gerald Steiding. They were married in June 1955. Their ministry together began by holding revival meetings and then pastoring her home church, Sand Flat Assembly of God, now Lakeside Assembly of God (1955-1960). Other pastorates were First Assembly of God, Lynchburg,VA (1960-1968) and First Assembly of God, Bristol,VA (1968-1973). Whereupon her husband became the Superintendent for the Appalachian District of the Assemblies of God (1973-1997). Maxine served as District Women’s Director from (1976-1998). What began as an interim pastorate in Lothian, MD, extended for 8 years (1998-2006). They returned to Beckley, WV in full and semi-retirement. Maxine’s health began to fail, but she maintained her routine of attending church and visiting friends.

 She and her husband were a great team and though very different in personalities became a strong “one body” and dearly loved each other until the death of her beloved husband in February 2023. For the last two years of his life, he had become her full-time caregiver and it left a great void in her life when he passed. In her being afforded this life, they had friends across the United States, traveling to at least 40 states in ministry and also over 10 countries overseas where they were both given opportunities for ministry. It was just overwhelming to her the life that God had allowed her to have. Though the remaining years of her life were fraught with pain, God never forsook her, but gave endurance to be faithful and to sustain whatever came her way.

Maxine was recognized for her gifted talents in leadership, public speaking, organizing activities, intelligence and grace. She was a dedicated and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, daughter, sister and aunt. Known for her excellent baking, cooking, and maintaining a lovely and welcoming home not only for visiting ministers and missionaries, but also for neighbors. She was also inspiring as an avid reader and accomplished seamstress. Most of all, she always put her family first. To us, she was enormously appreciated, enormously loved and irreplaceable.

Maxine became a member of the Sand Flat Assembly of God, now Lakeside Assembly on Easter Sunday, 1950 where she remains a member, but after full-time ministry and being in and out of Beckley, WV since 1973, she has considered Calvary Assembly of God her church, now for over 50 years, until ill health didn’t permit her to attend services.

She has often been heard to say, “I have lived such a blessed life.”

Maxine was blessed with four children: Sandra Louise Barth, Stephen Irvin Steiding, Gregory David Steiding, and Carole Joy (Steve) Webb.

Maxine was blessed with ten grandchildren: Alexandra Barth, Jordan (Ashley) Barth, Catherine Barth, Justin Barth, Elisabeth (Rick) Maitra, Zachary (Ashleigh) Steiding, Nathaniel (Taylor) Steiding, Adair (Jason) Koontz, Elijah Webb, and Eden Joy Webb. She was also blessed with seven great-grandchildren: Hazel Grace Mueller, Eleanor Rose Mueller, Thea Steiding, Myla Steiding, Chandler Koontz, Isabella Koontz, and Landon Koontz. She also was blessed with many nieces and nephews and a host of friends and former leaders in ministry.

 

Both parents preceded her in death as well as two brothers, Carroll Edward and Roland Cecil Bernard and a sister, Delores Jean Bernard.

Surviving are four brothers: Paul Eugene Bernard, Thomas Earl (Shirley) Bernard, Richard Lambert (Dorothy) Bernard, and Harland Bennett Bernard. Two sisters: Eileen Esther Kerslake, and Rita Ann (Greg) Kugler.

Funeral Services will be 1:00pm Friday, September 1, 2023 at Calvary Assembly of God, 319 Sunset Drive, Beckley, WV.  Friends may visit with the family from noon to 1:00pm prior to the service.

Burial will be at the family cemetery (Alexander Lohr Cemetery) in Swanton, Maryland at 1:00pm on Saturday, September 2, 2023.

Maxine left us with these words: “Life is short, Heaven is real and Eternity is forever. Thank the Lord for His abundance of blessings!”

 

 

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, September 1, 2023

12:00 - 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

Calvary Assembly of God

319 Sunset Dr., Beckley, WV

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Funeral Service

Friday, September 1, 2023

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

Calvary Assembly of God

319 Sunset Dr., Beckley, WV

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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