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This Week in AG History -- Sept. 8, 1963

Hardy W. Steinberg served in many ministry capacities, but his preaching and abilities as an educational administrator set him apart.
Hardy W. Steinberg (1918-1993) served the Assemblies of God as pastor, evangelist, and district youth director but is most remembered for two things: his preaching ministry and his role in educational administration.

Born in 1918 in China to Pentecostal missionary parents Edgar and Ida Ziese Steinberg, he grew up speaking three languages – English, Chinese, and German. In 1923, the Steinberg family returned to the United States to secure a better education for Hardy and his three sisters.

From an early age, Steinberg had a conviction of the call of God to ministry. Following high school, he attended Central Bible Institute in Springfield, Missouri. As part of his education, he developed early preaching skills at an outstation in Nichols, Missouri, playing his trumpet and honing his understanding of the needs of the local church.

In 1939, during his last semester of Bible school, he received an unexpected call from Harry Bowley, who was pastoring in Coffeyville, Kansas, and wanted a young man to help him in the ministry there. After his time in Kansas, Steinberg served pastorates in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Missouri. In 1942, he invited Frances Hatfield to join him in family and ministry life.

While pastoring in Galesburg, Illinois, Steinberg received a call from the dean of his alma mater, W. I. Evans, asking him to consider a position on the faculty at Central Bible Institute. He served in that position from 1946-1949 when he accepted the invitation to serve as president of Great Lakes Bible Institute in Zion, Illinois, a school owned by the Illinois district. He led that school until it merged with Central Bible College in 1954.

During this time, the presidents of the Assemblies of God schools formed an Education Committee to discuss the needs of higher education. Steinberg’s abilities to understand the demands of Pentecostal education led him to be named as secretary of the Education Department of the Assemblies of God in 1959. He served in leadership in the administration of Assemblies of God higher education for more than 30 years, retiring from the national office in 1986. During this time, he oversaw the publication of educational literature and had responsibility for providing leadership to the endorsed Christian day schools, institutes, colleges, and seminaries.

When asked about his work in higher education in 1971, Steinberg remarked, “Assemblies of God educators feel as called to their classroom much as a pastor feels called to the pastorate. There is nothing like being in the classroom, having one generation of students after another come through. In a matter of just a few years, you have friends all over the country and around the world. You can go almost anywhere, and a former student comes up and will slap you on the back and say, ‘Hi Teach, it’s good to see you again.’ It’s amazing.”

In addition to his administrative role, Steinberg also proved to be an excellent writer and editor, editing the national ministerial magazine for ministers, Pulpit (precursor to Influence magazine), which was published from 1958 to 1965.

Thomas F. Zimmerman, who served as general superintendent of the Assemblies of God from 1959 to 1985, felt that the Fellowship needed a publication focusing on the moving of the Holy Spirit. Many people without Pentecostal backgrounds were coming into Assemblies of God churches in the 1960s, and there was need for more in-depth scholarship and written resources on the Holy Spirit.

In 1967, Steinberg was tasked with the creation of Paraclete, a periodical that focused on the work of the Holy Spirit and gave a theological framework to many people both inside and outside the Pentecostal movement who were interested in knowing more about the working of the Spirit.

Despite his gifting as an able administrator, when Steinberg retired, his colleagues most remarked of his abilities in the pulpit. During his time of leadership, Steinberg was in demand not just at college meetings but at district councils, camp meetings, national conventions, and in local churches. Many of his sermons were reprinted in the Pentecostal Evangel, including one in the Sept. 8, 1963, issue titled, “Who Needs the Faith for Healing?” His organizational skills come across in each of his sermons as they logically progress from one point to the next.

After his retirement from the national office in 1986, Steinberg continued to minister both in the pulpit and in the lectern, including teaching students about “Improving Your Pulpit Ministry” at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. He passed away in Springfield, Missouri, in 1993 at the age of 75.

Read one of Hardy Steinberg’s sermons, “Who Needs the Faith for Healing?” on page 2 of the Sept. 8, 1963, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “Four Kinds of Divine Healing” by Alexander Tee

• “Why Christian Schools?” by Roger Arnebergh

And many more!

Click here to read this issue now.

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.

All issues of Paraclete, the journal for which Steinberg served as founding editor, are accessible on the Consortium of Pentecostal Archives website.

Ruthie Edgerly Oberg

Ruthie Edgerly Oberg is an ordained Assemblies of God minister and fourth generation Pentecostal. She served in senior and associate pastoral roles for 25 years. Oberg speaks at national conferences and local churches.