Eulogy for Stephen B. Clark 

by David Mijares

The gathering of people this weekend (March 22-23 2024) to honor Steve Clark’s memory is somewhat unusual.

Steve outlived his siblings and parents. Yet, there is a large number of his brothers here.

He never married or had children. Yet, there is a large number of his spiritual sons and daughters here… and who knows how many more scattered across the globe who are not here with us today. Yesterday I received a message from a man in University Christian Outreach (UCO), and I quote: 

“Although I never knew him, he has had a profound impact on my life… the same night that God called him to His presence, I shared my testimony of receiving the Holy Spirit… and I would like everyone who knew Steve to know that God was still using his testimony to inspire other testimonies on the very night that the Lord called him home!”

Steve was a “chosen instrument and vessel of the Lord to proclaim His name to the Gentiles” (as the Lord spoke to Ananias regarding Paul at the time of his conversion, (Acts 9:15). 

Following the Lord unreservedly

Steve was ready to be used for whatever the Lord called him to do, and he laid aside his own plans and his academic career to follow wherever the Lord would lead. 

His personal disposition or preference was to remain more hidden, and how many times have I heard it said: when Steve walked into the room … few noticed him.  But God called him many a time to lead in a more public position, not the most natural thing for Steve, but he was committed to being the Lord’s instrument, and so he embraced these tasks.

He did not seek the limelight or the center-stage; his preference was to have a closed casket at his funeral as another example of this.

He did not have a “charismatic” personality, yet he was instrumental in opening others to the experience of the Holy Spirit and explaining what the work of the Holy Spirit was.

Though he was not noted as a healer and only rarely gave a prophetic word, he helped many understand how healing, prophecy, and the other charisms worked, and he encouraged everyone to be open to the works and the fruit of the Holy Spirit. 

Presenting truth with clarity and simplicity

Steve was one of the most convincing speakers in the circles you and I walked in… but he did it without much flair or style. While he often used stories and examples, he did not use rhetorical flourishes or fancy language. He just presented the truth with astounding clarity and simplicity. 

Steve wrote many important books that helped to lay the foundations of the Charismatic renewal, to establish the basis of covenant communities, and to explain the Scriptures, yet his most widely selling book was a simple pamphlet, explaining what the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is and how to receive it.  

Steve was open to the new work of the Spirit in our time, but he was also deeply grounded in the wisdom of the Christian tradition and sought to show the continuity of God’s work through the Spirit across the ages. 

Building Christian communities world-wide

For the sake of advancing the work of God, Steve travelled extensively throughout the world: speaking, building up, and encouraging the formation of vibrant Christian communities.

Steve was often asked if he agreed with a difficult proposition. Like the true philosopher that he was, his answer was often, “Well, Yes and No.” Then he would go on to explain the issue in detail, showing two or more sides to the question and why he avoided a definitive answer.

Those who know me, know very well that I am not an intellectual, but he always welcomed my thoughts and ideas, listened to them, and often even affirmed them. He always answered my questions with care even if it was a “not so intelligent” question. He would even make me think it was a smart question. He had a remarkable ability to make the complicated simple.

Steve was a kind and humble man. I never saw him flaunt his great intellect in order to make himself look superior or to put someone down. Whatever Steve had learned, he was eager to pass on to others. He did not cling to his many accomplishments as if he owned them. If he could help you, he would. 

Equipping Christian leaders

One of Steve’s greatest charisms was his ability to attract and to equip good leaders, male and female, young and old. There was hardly a day when Steve didn’t meet with one of us or a young man to call him into a deeper discipleship and relationship with God. He could have been a prestigious professor but instead he wasted his time on guys like me and like many of you here today. Many of those he worked with became experts in the fields of evangelization, prophecy, and youth work, and even became skilled in administration, computers, and business practices.

Steve authored many books and articles; his writings have had (and continue to have) a profound influence in many circles of the Christian people. His obituary does a wonderful job of outlining his many other accomplishments: pioneer, intellectual leader, academic, founding president of the Sword of the Spirit, and many more, but his greatest legacy consists of the lives of thousands of men and women whose love for God and for God’s people took flight from Steve’s youthful decision to follow Christ wherever he led.

We in the Servants of the Word, are profoundly grateful for the Lord’s call on us to consider living single for the Lord. It was Steve who primarily opened the path for us, as God´s instrument, to hear this call and to live for him “as much as possible” (which was one of his favorite phrases).  He was the one who mainly formulated our rule of life – our covenant – which still inspires us to have our lives centered on being servants, disciples, missionaries, and men of prayer, with a love for the Word of God – that is: both Jesus Christ our Lord and the Word of God, the Scripture.  I can still hear him encouraging me to have the Lord “as much as possible” as my treasure, my portion and my all.

“Well done good and faithful servant …”

Our brother Steve died peacefully, accompanied by 2 of our brothers, after they had sung for him “For You Are My God” and had prayed Psalm 4, our opening psalm in night prayers.

Steve, we are so grateful to you – for your life poured out for the Lord and his people.

Lord our God, we are so grateful to you for giving Steve to us.

My brothers and sisters, may all of us that express our love and honor for Steve’s life by our presence here today, continue to express that same love and honor for the rest of our lives by faithfully following his example.

Steve, well done good and faithful servant and chosen vessel of the Lord, enter into the joy of your gracious and merciful Master.

Top image credit: Video clip of brothers from the Servants of the Word singing the song, God Alone (written by John Keating), at the conclusion of the Funeral Mass for Steve Clark at Christ the King Church in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, March 22, 2024. Digital image capture from CtK streaming video.

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