Marvin Steinert was an extraordinarily faithful and generous friend and supporter of Fresno Pacific University. He was also a faithful and loving personal friend, a wise counselor and guide, an inspiring encourager when things got tough and a kind but firm pillar of accountability. His earthly life ended on April 22, 2017, but because of who he was as a servant of Jesus Christ and a careful but bold steward of every resource that God entrusted to him, Marvin Steinert lives on.
He was deeply committed to Jesus Christ and to the work of Christ’s kingdom. For Marvin the Lord’s Prayer was lived out every day in every possible way. He wanted God’s kingdom to come and God’s will to be done on earth as it already is in heaven. And because of his hard work, personal and financial discipline, impeccable integrity and uncanny vision of what was possible, Marvin left a living legacy in the lives of his children and grandchildren, in his church, in his community and in a panoply of carefully selected Christian ministries that were all significantly strengthened and improved by his loving but honest counsel, powerful prayers and financial generosity. He was a friend to me and to every other president he knew at Fresno Pacific.
Mark Deffenbacher, the executive director of the FPU Foundation, summarized it very well. “Marvin Steinert will be remembered as our most generous donor to Fresno Pacific University, the FPU Foundation and the seminary. His interests were wide-ranging but always in the best interest of the university.”
Together Marvin and his wife, Nadene, have given more than $4.6 million in gifts to FPU, which provided significant funding for Steinert Athletic Complex, Steinert Campus Center, AIMS Hall of Mathematics & Science, the Harold and Betty Haak Tennis Complex, McDonald Hall, the recent track resurfacing, land expansion and the ongoing Performing Arts Center project, plus the endowments for Steinert Campus Center and the Steinert Kruger Scholarship. Marvin also brought his entrepreneurial expertise to the university as an emeritus member of the FPU Board of Trustees and Foundation Board.
Generosity and faith were one in the same for Marvin, who credited his father, Emanuel, for modeling both. When Marvin and Nadene were honored as the Outstanding Philanthropists of 2011 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) San Joaquin Valley Chapter for their generosity to not only FPU, but Heritage Bible Church, Bakersfield Memorial Hospital and Kern County Teen Challenge, Marvin took no credit for himself. “It’s all through the grace of Jesus Christ,” he said.
It is simple to say something like: memorial services for Marvin Steinert will be Saturday, April 29, 2017, at 11:00 a.m. in Heritage Bible Church, Bakersfield. That is not the end of the Marvin Steinert story. The place will be filled with all of us whose lives were improved and enriched because we had the privilege of knowing Marvin. And after the last words are read and spoken and after the last hymns are sung—Marvin loved to sing—and we all go back to our homes, Marvin Steinert will live on for every one of us. Not just in wonderful buildings and significant scholarship endowments, but in the way we look at the challenges that life presents. From Marvin we learned that everything God allows, whether it seems pleasant or unpleasant at the time, is from a loving God and for our good. Every time that process plays out in one of our lives, Marvin Steinert lives on.
More on Marvin at fpu.edu/Steinert