Charles M. Bieber, 95, Brethren Village, was a Nigerian missionary, pastor, and published author

By on October 1, 2014

Charles M. Bieber, 95, of Brethren Village, Lancaster, passed away Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014.

He was born Sept. 11, 1919, in Williamsport, to the late George and Edith (Seriff) Bieber. He married Mary Beth High on June 24, 1944. Mary Beth passed away in July 2004.

Charles graduated from Juniata College, Philadelphia School of Nursing and Bethany Seminary. He and Mary Beth served as missionaries to Nigeria from 1950 to 1963. He served various Churches of the Brethren as pastor, including Lincoln, Neb.; Big Swatara, Hummelstown; Black Rock, Glenville; Mt. Zion Road, Fredricksburg; Mingo, Royersford; and Ephrata. He was district executive in Northern Indiana for seven years. Charles served as moderator of the Church of the Brethren in 1977, choosing the theme, “To Serve in A Changing World.”

He was author of two books, “Keeping the Embers Aglow,” a history of the Ephrata church, and his autobiography, “Around the World in Eighty Years.” He was an active alumni of Juniata College, and an advocate for the Brethren Disaster Relief Auction, in addition to serving on many other boards over the years. He dedicated his life to serving Jesus and bringing the Good News of salvation to many. He loved to teach the Bible. His proudest accomplishment, he would say, was his family.

He is survived by five children: Larien (Nancy) Bieber of Millersville; Dale (Carla Nester) Bieber, of Iowa City, Iowa; Bonnie Concoran, of Amery, Wisc.; Marla (Jim) Abe of Carlisle; and Doreen (Myron) Miller of Lebanon; “adopted” children: Jeannette Matarita, Xinia Tobias, Bellanice Cordero, and Njidda Gadzama; a brother-in-law: Bob Hershberger; 16 grandchildren plus their spouses; 12 great-grandchildren, with two more on the way; nieces and nephews.

The family would like to thank his special pen pal, Mary Ann Payne, for her friendship with him for many years.

In addition to his wife and parents, he is preceded in death by an adopted son: Karagama Gadzama; a son-in-law: Dan Corcoran; a brother: George Bieber; a sister: Mae Kapandais; and a sister-in-law: Martha Hershberger.

There will be two services held. A memorial service will take place on Friday, Oct. 3, at 4 p.m., at the Brethren Village Chapel, 3001 Lititz Pike, Lancaster, with Pastor Earl Ziegler and Chaplain Dana E. Statler officiating. A viewing will take place on Saturday, Oct. 4, from 3 to 4 p.m., at the Ephrata Church of the Brethren, 201 Crescent Ave., Ephrata, followed by worship at 4 p.m., with Pastors Earl Ziegler and Galen Hackman officiating. Interment will be private at the convenience of the family.

Memorials contributions in Charles’s memory may be made to the EYN Compassion Fund, 1451 Dundee Ave, Elgin, IL 60120, to relieve the crisis situation in his beloved Nigeria, or to Juniata College, 1700 Moore St., Huntingdon, PA 16652. Charles would prefer these donations in lieu of flowers.

Arrangements by Stradling Funeral Homes, Inc., Akron/Ephrata. Online condolences can be given at

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