Pastor E. David Stegmeier grew up in Western Montana where he became a born-again Christian at an early age. As he was growing up, he was very active in his local congregation as a musician and an assistant to the pastor. After receiving his teaching degree from the University of Montana in the spring of 1963, he started a career in the field of education. Before embarking on his first teaching assignment, he visited the Fall Camp Meeting at God’s Acres, Newark, Ohio in August of 1963 where he became enamored with Millie Prior, the church’s talented piano player. For five years, they courted each other while David was teaching music and English in the public schools at Thompson Falls, Montana.
Millie Prior grew up in Newark, Ohio, where she, too, gave her life to Christ at an early age. After studying piano at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, she taught privately; at the same time, she was very active in the music ministry at the Church of God in Newark, Ohio, where her uncle, Emerson A. Wilson, was the pastor. During her involvement in the congregation at Newark, Ohio, she often traveled with her uncle throughout the states and in foreign fields providing music for many evangelistic meetings.
After a courtship of five years, David and Millie were married during the Fall Camp Meeting at God’s Acres in 1968. Soon after they were married, they began a ministry of evangelism traveling on the West Coast and in Canada. While holding a revival meeting in the Canby, Oregon area, God gave David a vision of a Church of God congregation there.
For approximately a year and a half, David and Millie prayed earnestly while seeking the counsel of Pastor Emerson Wilson and others concerning the calling that David was receiving. In June of 1970, they began pastoring a small congregation of about sixteen people here in Oregon.
Throughout his ministry, David has continued to teach school. For the past forty years, he has taught as a substitute teacher in the Canby Public Schools. David received the award of Oregon Substitute Teacher of the Year in 2005.
Millie has taught piano privately in their home since 1970; she began teaching at the age of fifteen. In her teaching career, she has had as high as fifty students at one time. During all of those years, she has assisted her husband in the ministry of the church. David has directed the local adult church choir, and Millie has accompanied the group. Millie has served the church as a Sunday school teacher as well.
During the history of their ministry, David and Millie have traveled to a number of foreign countries, including Haiti, Kenya, Honduras, Grand Cayman, and Canada. Recently, they returned from a trip to the country of Honduras.
God has blessed David and Millie with seven children, three sons-in-law and three daughters-in-law. At the present time, they have twenty-one grandchildren. Most of the children and grandchildren are active in the local congregation of the Church of God in Canby, Oregon.
Presently, the congregation consists of approximately 120 members. Pastor Stegmeier has said that building a true New Testament Church of God congregation in this era of time is difficult. The church battles against spiritual lethargy, worldliness, materialism, and humanism. Over the years, the pastor keeps this verse of Scripture before his people: “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it.” (Psalm 127:1)