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Elton Berg

d. June 25, 2017

Hillsboro – Elton Berg, 87, died June 25, 2017 at Via Christi St. Francis Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice Unit in Wichita.  He was born June 18, 1930 to Tobias and Lydia (Schmidt) Berg in Richey, Montana.  He married Ella Reddig June 29, 1954 in Luster, Montana.  Survivors include: sons, Steven (Sandra) Berg of Overland Park, KS, Samuel (Lisa) Berg of Nixa, Missouri, David (Jody) Berg of Yale, South Dakota; daughter, Deborah (Todd) Reynolds of Woodinville, Washington; sister, Dorothy Holzworth of Lynnwood, Washington; 14 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.  Celebration of Life Service 11:00 a.m. Saturday, July 1, 2017 at Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church.  Interment 10:00 a.m. Saturday at Hillsboro M.B. Church Cemetery.  Family to receive guests from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Friday at Jost Funeral Home in Hillsboro.  Memorials to the Church or Parkside Homes in care of Jost Funeral Home P.O. Box 266 Hillsboro, KS 67063.  Online condolences at www.jostfuneralhome.com

Life Sketch Taken from the Funeral Folder

LIFE STORY Elton Berg was born on June 18, 1930 to Tobias and Lydia (Schmidt) Berg near Richey, Montana during a thunderstorm, delivered by a mid-wife. For his grade school education, he attended various one-room country schools. When he was 9 years old, a very sad experience happened – his dad died during surgery. He and his mother prayed right away as they cried. His dad’s death caused him to think of preparing to go to heaven. At the same time, God was preparing his heart for God’s call to be a preacher someday. When he was 15, his mother married a widower, Fred Holzwarth. He then had 2 brothers, Allen and Melvin and 1 sister Dorothy. The Bethlehem Mennonite Church was where he had his spiritual beginning. When he was eleven years old, revival services were held with Oscar Lowry. Elton went forward in response to the altar call for salvation. A lay pastor, Abe Unruh, knelt with him and prayed with and for him and shared I John 1:9 and John 1:12 with him. Elton attended Sunday School and VBS and also went to the Red Top Mennonite Church for VBS sometimes as well. Later on, he was baptized upon his confession of faith in Christ. Elton’s high school education took place in Glendive, MT where the family then lived. Things went well spiritually during his freshmen year, but not during the following years until December of his Senior year when his church held revival services. In the last service, he went forward in response to the altar call for cleansing and commitment. His parents and others met each night in prayer before the service, asking God to touch lives for renewal. The visiting speaker, V. W. Steele, spoke on Isaiah 55:6 – “Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call on Him while He is near.” He had a message empowered by the Holy Spirit. After this, Elton had a new direction and goals. Elton’s education beyond high school was at Prairie Bible Institute in Three Hills, Alberta, Canada, Tabor College in Hillsboro, KS, and the MB Biblical Seminary in Fresno, CA. On June 29, 1954, he married Ella Reddig in her home church in Lustre, Montana. They enjoyed sixty and a one-half years together. They chose the following motto for their wedding and life – “Together with Jesus”. God blessed them with four children. Elton enjoyed his family very much and had fun with all of his grandchildren and often played games with them. Under the MB Mission, Elton and Ella began their gospel ministry as missionary helpers in Austria for two years with an emphasis on child evangelism. The Gospel Fellowship MB Church in Wolf Point, Montana was their first pastorate. Elton was ordained to the gospel ministry there. The Atwater MB Church and the Raisin City Church of the Brethren in California were the churches they served during seminary days. Next they moved to the Yakima Valley in Washington and led the Outlook and Sunnyside congregations with the Church of the Brethren in further pastoral ministry.

Then it was on to North Dakota to serve the Rosehill MB Church for 9 years and also the Hannah Methodist church for 6 of the 9 years. The Rosehill Church gave an opportunity for deeper life messages to be given from God’s Word. Close fellowship with the people was enjoyed. There was an excellent youth group for the Berg children and an opportunity for them to sing in the choir and the men’s chorus. A highlight was participation in the Ralph Bell Crusade representing the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Elton was a member of the crusade planning board. The Hannah church, just one and a half miles from the Canadian border, gave further opportunity for pastoral ministry with different needs and a focus on having a personal relationship with Christ. The Bethel MB Church in Yale, South Dakota was their longest pastorate – 17 years, and it was the largest church they served. There was further opportunity to preach God’s Word, engage in visitation ministry, and encourage people with certain spiritual needs. As a church, there was an opportunity to reach out to the community at Byron Bible Camp and also through inter-church ministries. A highlight was to participate in the John Wesley White Crusade in Huron, also under the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Elton was also a member of the planning board for this crusade. Another highlight for Elton was to conduct two thirteen week men’s discipleship groups using the Golden Stairway material. Elton and Ella enjoyed two years of coast-to-coast traveling with their trailer, staying with relatives and friends, and also visited Dorothy, his sister, in Taiwan where she was a missionary. The last church that they served for 12 years was the Community Bible Church in Lushton, Nebraska near Henderson. This was a unifying ministry with an emphasis to build each other up in the faith and walk with Jesus. There were many opportunities to take time with individuals in visitation. The two-fold purpose of Elton’s ministry was to preach the Word and to love the people. Elton and Ella moved to Hillsboro, Kansas for retirement. During this time, a number of open hearts received encouragement on a personal basis. Elton spent a lot of time with love for Ella in her time of weakness, clinic appointments and hospital care. Ella’s death on January 29th, 2015, prompted him to look forward to heaven and to finish well. During his last two and a half years of serving His Lord and Savior, Elton continued to have a real sense of purpose. He enjoyed his church family and dear friends, his Sunday School class, and his Tuesday morning Bible Study group, often calling and sharing stories of what God was doing. He invested in his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, loving and encouraging them in person and on the phone. He continued to pray for his family by name each day. While Elton said that he was ready to go to heaven when the Lord called him home, he also expressed gratefulness for each day here on earth, as it was an opportunity to encourage others and pray for them. Elton went to be with the Lord on June 25th, 2017. He is now again with his wife Ella, “Together with Jesus”.

 

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11 thoughts on “Elton Berg

  1. Bergs,
    We know there is a celebration in heaven going on! I know that Elton touched many lives but where you really see it the most is in his family, he was very proud of you all. What a great example he was for all of us to live by, thanks for sharing him with the rest of us. God bless and love you all!
    Greg & Marlene McCord

  2. We were sorry to hear of Elton’s passing. He meant so much to us and to everyone one around him. He made a great impact in the Rosehill Church (Munich, N. Dak.), as well as, the whole community,
    when he was there , as I’m sure he did in all his other pastorates. He is where there is no pain or suffering and singing duets with Ella. Ken and Willa Reddig

  3. My name is Deanne (Wiebe) Bishop, and Elton and Ella pastored at my church in Lushton when I was growing up.

    Ella was so good about mailing me notes of encouragement when I was in college. They always came at just the right time. I miss listening to her play the marimba.

    Elton and Ella walked my husband and I through our pre-marital counseling (15 years ago). That was an incredibly special and formative time for us. Even today I heard Elton’s voice reminding me, “In marriage, I guarantee that you and your spouse will both feel like you do 100% of the household chores.” It made me laugh. He was so wise. Both Jayson and I are forever grateful for their wisdom and counsel that got our marriage off to a great start. We still refer back to those lessons.

    I enjoyed all the little comics Elton would sprinkle thoughout his sermons – especially Family Circus. I have fond memories of his chuckles and warm hugs following the services.

    Both of them are incredible examples of pouring their lives into others. I’m so grateful for their Christian guidance.

    It makes me smile to picture them together again, praising God in heaven.

  4. Sorry for your loss. We all know he is better off now than ever before in his life on this earth, but that does not mean he won’t be missed. Love and prayers to all the family. Dixie Hollar

  5. Pastor Elton Berg was a good friend, a mentor, and encouragement to me. I thank God for his faithful walk and, his gentle caring spirit.

    Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

  6. Pastor Elton and Ella Berg had such a positive effect on our lives. Elton was a great example of what a Christ-centered, people loving pastor should be.
    Yet he was also had such a wonderful sense of humor and loved to laugh. He and Ella were an encouragement to us through both joyous and rough times in ministry, and we so appreciate them. Philippians 1:21
    Dennis and Loretha Webber

  7. We are rejoicing in the hope of heaven and know the celebration of Pastor Berg being in the presence of his Lord and Savior. Elton and Ella have a special place in our hearts. Pastor Berg married us and had baby dedication for our four sons. We are praying for your family.

  8. Berg family,
    Such sweet memories of your folks. They always had a kind smile and gentle hello. They were such a good example of caring for others.

    May your memories bring you joy and peace.

  9. This is my honorary grandpa…Grandpa Berg. ❤️ Elton Berg stepped into my life when the Lord knew I needed him and his wife, Ella. Years ago, I was having great fears about my certainty of being a Christian and my security with the free gift of salvation and eternity in heaven with Him. Elton (my pastor at the time in Lushton, NE) and Ella came over to my house during a storm…as stormy night for a stormy heart…they taught me the meaning of FAITH. I say, faith without “feelings.” They turned my life to a new direction, one of security of my salvation. At my wedding they sat in place of all my deceased grandparents as my “honorary grandparents.” That was the best. They have taken care of me ever since. Their wisdom and knowledge and strength and being so genuine…I love them.

    Grandpa Berg graduated to Heaven to meet his Heavenly Father. He was so excited to go to heaven and see Jesus…and Ella. I miss him but I am so happy for him.

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