Dr. Arthur E. Steele, founder and first president of Clearwater Christian College, preacher of the Gospel and an educational leader in the local community, went to be with his Lord on March 2, 2011.

“There are times when the reputation of a person exceeds the reality of that person’s actual character,” said Dr. Richard Stratton, president of Clearwater Christian College. “This is not true of Dr. Arthur Steele. In many respects the reality of the man was even more. [Dr. Steele had] an underlying passion for God, a passion for the lost, a passion for his sweet bride Dolores, and a passion for Clearwater Christian College.”

Dr. Arthur Steele and his wife Dolores

Born June 17, 1920, in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, Steele graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering from Carnegie Tech, now known as Carnegie Mellon University, in 1942. Having been a member of the ROTC in college, he was commissioned as an officer upon graduation and served his country in the Corps of Engineers Research and Development Board during World War II as the Supervisor of the Gas Generating School at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. His orders were to develop mobile oxygen-producing generators and to the organize cadres that would enter the military field and determine the tools, supplies, and parts to ship out with each operating group.

Dr. Arthur Steele and family

After the war and his honorable discharge from the Corps of Engineers, Steele worked as a chemical engineer for Air Reduction Company, the suppliers of military mobile acetylene plants, but was soon led to Air Products in Allentown, Pennsylvania. One of his early projects was to help design the layout of an acetylene plant in Iselin, New Jersey, and then to supervise the building of the plant, as well as the hiring and training of the operators. It was during his employment at Air Products that Dr. Steele began to find inventive ways to serve the Lord through his daily duties. The Lord began to draw his heart closer to the ministry.

In 1956, Steele started his official ministerial pursuits when he began studies at Faith Theological Seminary, while still maintaining part-time employment at Air Products. Upon receiving his M.Div. and D.D. degrees in 1959, he was asked to serve as the vice president and treasurer of the seminary. In 1962, the Lord led him to accept the position of president of Shelton College in Ringwood, New Jersey. He served in this capacity until 1965.

Feeling God’s call to build a new college founded upon Biblical principles, Steele and several members of the Shelton College faculty established an official Organizing Committee for a new Christian college. After much prayer and countless hours researching possible locations and educational regulations, Clearwater Christian College was founded on September 17, 1966. Steele faithfully served as president until January 1, 1987.

Dr. Steele (right) at Far Eastern Bible College in Singapore in 2005 with Dr. Timothy Tow (middle) and Mr. Jeffrey Khoo, Dean of FEBCFollowing his retirement from the role of president of CCC, Steele was invited to be part of the teaching staff at Far Eastern Bible College in Singapore and spent several months abroad during the years of 1988, 1989, 1990, and 2005.

90th birthday party

Dr. Arthur Steele was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Dolores. He leaves behind five children, fifteen grandchildren, twelve great grandchildren, and limitless friends and supporters. Dr. Steele was a man of faith, integrity, and character. The board, faculty, and staff of Clearwater Christian College extend our heartfelt condolences to the Steele family and re-commit to keeping the legacy of Dr. Arthur E. Steele at the forefront of this ministry.

June 17, 2010, As he said in his recently updated memoirs, “What a privilege is ours that we have God’s Word with us every day, at whatever age and whatever circumstance. ‘Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord’ (I Corinthians 15:58).”

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