donald

In memory of Pastor Donald...

Pastor Donald Schaeffer graduated to heaven on Friday, October 10th, 2014.  He is as alive as he's ever been, in the presence of the One he loved most and served with all his heart.  While we all miss him dearly, we remember how Pastor Don always said there's a win-win for those who know Christ:  we either live with Jesus and serve Him here on earth with purpose and impact, or we get to be in our amazing forever home with those who share our belief in Christ.

We agree, in the words of the Apostle Paul, that "to be with Christ...is better by far."  Philippians 1:23  And one day we look forward to a fantastic reunion!

Pastor Schaeffer is survived by his wife of 59 years, Elfriede, and his 9 children: Amy (David Hennig), Donald (Hazel), Joy (Jack Herman), Kristin (Bill Guthrie), Andrew (Esther), Jonathan (Mary), Julianne (David Calvis), Faith (Dean Lancaster), and Jessica.  Donald had 40 grandchildren and 12 great-children.  He is also survived by his brothers, Gordon and Pembroke, and one sister, Nancy Gregory, and many nieces and nephews. Donald1Donald was predeceased by his granddaughter Lisa Herman and by his older brother George.

Born May 30, 1930 in Secaucus, NJ to the late George and Christine Degelmann Schaeffer, Donald graduated from Concordia Seminary (St. Louis), and served churches in Wisconsin and South Carolina before arriving as the first ordained pastor of Grace Church.  He served as the Senior Pastor for 38 years (1962-2000) and as pastor emeritus for 14 years.  Over more than five decades of ministry at Grace, Donald preached thousands of sermons and his teaching and example impacted countless people (see his Good Friday 2014 message here, or his Thanksgiving Eve message here).  During this span, church attendance grew from around 50 people to nearly 4,000 in average attendance. Donald’s passion in life was to exalt Jesus Christ in everything.  “All glory to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us.  He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever!"  Revelation 1:6

A memorial service was held at Grace Church on Friday, October 17, 2014, 7-8:30 pm.  Thanks for your prayers for Elfriede, her family, and the Grace Church family during these days.

map-footer 7393 Pearl Road
Middleburg Heights
Ohio 44130

P: 440.243.4885
F: 440.243.0297
E: gracechurch@gracecma.org