James A. Steinmeyer of Beaumont, Texas, died June 18, 2011 at home among friends. James was born in Bay City, Texas June 2, 1933 and setteled in the Beaumont area in 1962. By invitation he attended the Westminster Choir School at Princeton University, training as an operatic tenor. He left school, deciding against a career in music, not yet aware that God had plans of His own for his life. He went to work in sales for the Collier Corp., living for a while in Houston, Dallas, and Boston, Mass. At the peak of his sales career, he felt God was calling him to something more, so he left Colliers and moved back to the south, locating in Lake Charles. It was there that God called him into full time ministry as a gospel singer for the Southern Baptist Convention, traveling the south with various evangelists, leading the music during revivals. Yet this was only the training ground for a higher calling. In 1965 while praying to be more useful to God, the Lord asked him to become a pastor, and to gather his own flock, instead of taking an established congregation. He became the founding pastor of the First Century Christian Church. Additionally, in order to support himself and the young church, he began his career as an internationally recognized designer of fine homes and interiors, and as a knowledgeable and respected dealer in art and antiques. With all his accomplishments and talents, his real passion was for lost souls to come to a saving knowledge of Christ. His personal motto was To be, rather than to seem to be. Funeral services will be 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 22 at Claybar Kelley-Watkins Funeral Home with private Interment to follow. Visitation will be 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Tuesday June 21 at the funeral home. He was preceded in death by his parents, Verlie and Bill Steinmeyer, and his sisters Audrey and Ann. He is survived by his brother Gene, nieces and nephews: Joane Zemanek, Cathy Thomas, DAnn Hurta, Calton LeBeff, Drew Steinmeyer, Gina Nelson, Jill Essbaum, and Jay Schulz. He is also survived by a host of spiritual children, those he personally led to the Lord, and by brothers and sisters in Christ
Published in The Beaumont Enterprise on Jun. 20, 2011.