To the Glory of God
Saturday, February 23, 2019 marked a bittersweet moment for BsideU For Life staff and Board. We hosted our chapel dedication in honor of our past Board Chair, Steve Houser who went to be with our Lord and Savior in December of 2018. We had over 60 staff, Board, friends and family members packed in our 4th floor chapel to memorialize Steve Houser. His wife Julie helped us plan the event and even donated one of Steve’s artful photographs (seen below) to decorate the chapel. It was a God-honoring event for a very faithful man.
Let me give you insight into who Steve was to us and why we dedicated the chapel in his memory. Click to read Steve’s Life Speech and Steve’s Prayer that we shared with all in attendance this past Saturday.
Steve made his way to BsideU by being invited to our fundraising banquet several years ago by his insurance agent and friend, Gary Arnold. While there he ran into Leisa Ray, our Development Director, who was a former colleague at Stock Yards Bank. Not long after that Leisa suggested we invite Steve to join our Board. Not only did he join the Board—he agreed to serve on the Executive Committee during his very first year of service. Steve told us early on how serving on our Board meant so much to him because of his faith and because of his belief in the sanctity of life. Right off the bat Steve helped us with some security and safety issues, then became our Board chair and even recruited a new Treasurer for us when the seat was open—it was a friend he had made 20 years or more ago who he remembered having a conversation with about abortion and the sanctity of life. Steve never met a stranger, he remembered people, and he made you feel like you were part of his inner circle. He could talk about serious things or silly things. He was a very positive individual and quick to give a smile. He was always encouraging.
Steve also served on our Facilities Committee and when we found our current location on Muhammad Ali Blvd he served on our Campaign Committee. He connected us with our design/build firm who renovated this building and a decorator for this project. It was our campaign to get into this building that led Steve to agree to serve an unprecedented 3 year term as Board Chair—he was committed to see our renovation through and, praise the Lord, he saw it through!
All through Steve’s fight with cancer we did our best to reach out, to keep him in the loop on the building progress, and ask his advice as the renovation proceeded. We also celebrated with him at our grand opening and ribbon cutting which he was able to attend. Our founder, Don Gilmour, even got to take Steve to Chicago for treatment. In the end, Julie & Steve blessed us with a final visit and the chance to say goodbye. We were able to thank Steve for his service, for his friendship, and for the testimony of his life and walk with Christ even through cancer.
When we told Steve the next time we would see him would be in heaven, we also told him that we would like to dedicate something in the building to his memory. We asked Steve if he would prefer to have the playground or the chapel dedicated to his memory, and without hesitation he exclaimed “Oh, the chapel, and make sure it says ‘to the glory of God’.” His memorial plaque will now be hung on the wall outside the chapel (see below) and those words he requested will be placed over the doorway as a reminder to all those who enter the chapel that we are here in this place to bring glory to God.