The Rev. Steven Schmaljohn
The Rev. Steven Ray Schmaljohn, 63, earned his heavenly reward on Friday, Feb. 8, 2019. His prayer was that God take him peacefully in his own home and God heard the prayers of his beloved servant. His body no longer suffers from Parkinson's disease, and without a doubt he finally is home and worshipping with Jesus.
Steve was born March 3, 1955, in Anamosa, Iowa, to Larry Schmaljohn and Barbara (Butterfield) Early. On Aug. 24, 1974, Steven was united in marriage to Debra Caspers. He graduated from Anamosa High School in 1973 and attended Kirkwood Community College, majoring in engineering. He was a senior avionics engineer at Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids for 32 years. He retired in 2010.
In 1980, Steve surrendered his life to God and, with his wife, helped in the ministry at the Apostolic Assembly of Anamosa for 16 years alongside so many friends who are cherished to this day. In 1996, Steve and his wife felt God direct them to start a church in Tipton. Together with their children, they pastored for 20 years. In 2004, they built a beautiful sanctuary, where Hope Church of Tipton thrives to this day. The Schmaljohn family has been blessed to spend the past 20 years surrounded by the love and constant support of their church family.
Steve's many ministerial accomplishments include his ordination with the United Pentecostal Church in 1998, serving as Iowa District UPC Home Missions director for many years, as well as being honored with a lifetime achievement award for his ministry in the district of Iowa. In addition to pastoring his church in Tipton, he contributed greatly to other churches in the organization through his expertise setting up sound equipment, as well as pastoring a church in Muscatine for two years.
Many will remember Steve for his love of music and his talents on multiple instruments. He began playing bass as a teenager, performing in many local bands through his early adult years. After coming to Christ, he used his talents for the Lord. He passed his skill and love of music to his family, who played and sang alongside him in concerts and at church through the years. The highlight of his musical career was performing before a crowd of 25,000 for the UPCI General Conference in Louisville, Ky. He also was proud to be a musician on several recorded albums. He served as a platform musician for many camps, conferences and state events, as well as faithfully in every service for his own church. He spent the last years of his life recording his many written songs for his YouTube channel and for the enjoyment of his friends and family.
Steve had been "Brother Schmaljohn," "Pastor" and "Bishop" to so many saints and friends across the globe that it is hard to find the words to convey what a great man, friend and mentor he was. He lived his life striving to follow after the heart of Jesus, a humble and sacrificial servant until the very end. His love for people knew no bounds, and his gentle, forgiving and compassionate spirit never will be forgotten. His greatest desire in life was to see all family and friends filled with the Holy Ghost and come to love Jesus as he did. There was no doubt in his mind, or the minds of anyone who knew him, that Heaven would one day be his home.
Steve is survived by his childhood sweetheart and one true love, Debbie. Their greatest joys in life are their three children and six grandchildren, Rachel Dix and her children, Kara, Reagan, and Remington of Tipton; Jill Kennedy and her husband, Nathaniel (whom he cherished as a son), and their children, Drew, Miles and Noelle, also of Tipton; and Tim Schmaljohn and his love, Ellen Black, of Iowa City. This family was blessed to have the greatest husband and father. Also surviving are his father, Larry (Doris) Schmaljohn of Jacksonville, Ill.; and three sisters, Paula (Dave) Meyer of Morley, Tammy (Matt) Johnson of Jacksonville and Shari (Jeff) Tankersley, also of Jacksonville. He also is survived by countless extended family and too many friends to list.
He was preceded in death by his beloved mother, Barbara Butterfield Early; his sister, Marsha Schmaljohn; his brother, Mike Schmaljohn; and grandparents.
Visitation will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, at Hope Church of Tipton. There will be a visitation at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, at Apostolic Assembly of Anamosa, followed by a funeral service at 11 a.m. Steve will be laid to rest in Riverside Cemetery in Anamosa. Goettsch Funeral Home in Anamosa has taken Steven and his family into their care.
If you desire, memorials may be sent to Hope Church of Tipton, P.O. Box 424, Tipton, IA 52772.
"Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6:33)