HI Steve Thompson
Our paths cross again!
“The Newbold students lost to that cruel and demonic movement continue to haunt me” Your words struck a chord with me. Even after all these years. Permit me to share.
Steve Schneider and I became fast friends in !972. I was a 16-year-old naive freshman student at Newbold, fresh off the boat from the jungles of Borneo.
Steve’s, long curly blonde hair, flashing smile ,stylish 70’s bellbottoms and platform shoes seemed very cool to me. His tall stunning girlfriend who was always by his side seemed like something right out of Woodstock.
Being raised as a missionary kid in a very strict conservative up bringing, the sight of an Adventist theology major in “worldly attire” alongside a beautiful girl was beguiling to me.
Steve and I became instant friends because of our love for music. He invited me to be his organist for Friday evening vespers at Newbold. He would refer to it as super charged evangelistic meeting on Revelation.
His instruction to me for the postlude was to improvise on the organ, rock songs played in a classical style.
The professors and administrators had no earthly idea that they walked out of the chapel to the tunes of Whiter Shade of Pale, Stairway to Heaven and other rock and roll hits ala J.S.Bach style!.
(Perhaps the precursor to the David Koresh legendary rock concerts before a heavy hitting lecture on the apocalypse?)
After our Friday evening religious service, Steve and his girlfriend would invite me to Reading near Newbold were we would crash in whatever Rock and Roll concert was in town. Drugs, sex and rock and roll was a sharp contrast to sermons on the Time of The End just a few hours earlier.
(Again, perhaps the forerunner to the bizarre cultish behavior of the Branch Davidians views on sex, rock and roll and Revelation?)
After Newbold, I went to Southern and the Theological Seminary at Andrews University. Steve got his PhD in comparative religion from the University of Hawaii. We periodically stayed in touch and would talk fondly of our days at Newbold and Adventism.
During the siege at Waco, I tried to call Steve a few times, but obviously could not get through.
While the fires consumed Steve, his wife and his children on TV, I recall having flashbacks of my handsome young college close friend who wanted to change the world. His face still haunts me on what might have been.
(Picture of Steve Schneider from my Newbold College Yearbook)