Commentary by James L. Lambert
This Father’s Day I wish
to honor the life of my friend, Steve Schrater, who left a mark on the world
despite his relatively short period of time here on earth.
Steve was born in Sydney,
Australia in January of 1952. In 1956, parents Marvin and Kathleen Schrater
moved to San Mateo, California to raise their son. After graduating from high
school in 1970, Steve decided to attend Linfield College in McMinnville,
During the early 1970s the
school had a student population of about 1500, with the vast majority living in
dormitories on campus. That fall Steve moved into the infamous 3rd floor of
Hewitt Hall. The hallway of the floor had corridors so filled with smoke from
pot that kids could get high just walking down them.
By that spring, in 1971,
there was an incredible wave of enthusiasm on campus towards Christianity and
the Gospel message of Christ, often called the Jesus Movement. Christian
organizations around campus (including Campus Crusade for Christ) reached out
to non-believers in a big way during this time. In February of that year, Steve
Schrater’s life was completely changed by this movement. A friend shared a
small, well read booklet entitled, The 4 Spiritual Laws with him. Schrater
enthusiastically received the material and made a decision to commit his life
to follow Jesus Christ.
Within 4 months, the
college freshman traveled to Loleta, California to live at Lighthouse Ranch, a
Christian commune. The Ranch was operated by Gospel Outreach and led by Senior
Pastor Jim Durkin. Within the next year he married Teri, his high school
sweetheart, and over time they became parents of five children.
Steve was heavily involved
in full time ministry, eventually becoming a pastor. Over the next 10+ years,
Steve reached out to a multitude of young people telling them about the Good
News of Jesus Christ, causing many to be delivered from drugs and other vices.
Steve made a significant difference in numerous lives. As his mother Kathleen
recently said that “this was his calling.”
Unfortunately, Steve died
in 1987 but his legacy continues. Just ask the 18 grandchildren who can call
Steve their granddad and the hundreds of lives he touched with the Good News of
Jesus Christ. So here’s to you Steve – Happy Father’s Day!
James L. Lambert, a frequent contributor to ChristianMirror.net and author of Porn in America, is a licensed nationwide real-estate mortgage loan sales agent and can be contacted through his website.