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Mary Beth Christian Steele
Caldwell & Cowan Funeral Home
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Mary Beth Christian Steele of Covington, passed away May 5, 2010, at the age of 89. Daughter of the late Frank B. Christian and Ellen Ruth Cowan Christian, she was born and raised in the Bethany Community in Newton County, just a short walking distance from Bethany Presbyterian Church. Mrs. Steele was very grateful throughout life for the religious training she received at Bethany. From early childhood, she always wanted to be a teacher. After graduating from Livingston High School as valedictorian, she enrolled in what was then the Georgia State College for Women in Milledgeville. She graduated in 1941 and began her teaching career that fall in Newton County where she taught for 30 years. She taught her first year at Mansfield. The following year she transferred to Heard-Mixon, and it was in this community that she met her husband, the late Bryant Steele, Sr. Both Bryant and Mary Beth always felt it was not happenstance that brought them together and spared Bryant’s life through the long and horrible World War II. Rather, they felt that God had plans for them to work together, using their spiritual gifts to help spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His love for all mankind. It was not easy for Mary Beth to leave the Presbyterian Church she loved so much, but she felt God leading her to join the Baptists with her husband. Early on, the Baptists called her “Bapterian” which she seemed to enjoy. She and Bryant worked as a team, and God used them in many capacities at High Point and the Stone Mountain Baptist Association. Mary Beth took on many roles at High Point and in the churches where Bryant pastored. At one time or another, she taught all ages in Sunday School, taught numerous study courses in what is now Discipleship Training, and served as Director of Vacation Bible School for a total of 23 years. Those who knew her well knew teaching was her passion. It is a fitting tribute that most of the people participating in this memorial service today are educators or former pupils. She was the proud mama of Gary Steele and Bryant Steele, Jr., and the proud Grandmama of Jackson James Steele, Katy Beth Steele and Matthew Christian Steele. She loved her daughter-in-law, Missy, as her own. Also surviving are her sister, Betty Ann Thomas; brother-in-law, Frank O’Neal; sister-in-law, Betty Christian; and several nieces and nephews. Mary Beth and Bryant celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary on August 29, 2006. A Celebration of Life for Mrs. Steele will be held Sunday, May 9, 2010, 3:00 PM, at High Point Baptist Church, in Covington, with interment following in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends at Caldwell & Cowan Funeral Home, 1215 Access Road, in Covington, Saturday, May 8, from 6-8 PM. Flowers are accepted, or donations may be made to High Point Baptist Church, 12025 Highway 36, Covington, GA 30014.