During my break from blogging, my father died. As my banner above indicates, he was the inspiration for Speak With Authority, but he was so much more. Here are some edited excerpts from a biography of dad that was read at his funeral:
Jack Bier was born on September 23, 1926 in Belmar, New Jersey, the youngest of three children.
As a child, Jack was already a business man and entrepreneur. He planned, constructed and then ran his own penny fairs, taxi service and backyard miniature golf course. Sports played a large part in Jack's life--football, basketball and track. On the basketball court, he was so skinny they called him "Bones Bier."
At age seventeen he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served overseas toward the end of World War II. He supervised the disarming of German soldiers them to prison camps, camps he was placed in charge of.
After the war he played football at the University of Pennsylvania and graduated from the Wharton School of Business. He met Doris Miller, a kindergarten teacher, at church. They fell in love and were married in 1948. Early on, Doris became Jill. Jack and Jill wanted a big family and they got it. God blessed them with five boys and a girl.
Jack's career included working for Owens Corning Fiberglas, a position he accepted the day before receiving his acceptance into the FBI! J. Edward Hoover missed out on a good man. Jack's financial training and experience, along with his entrepreneurial spirit and God's direction, led him to start up his own company in 1972. After spending a few years at a large Christian church and school in Memphis, where he resolved a major financial crisis, Jack and his family moved back to New Jersey and launched BAC, Inc. For forty years, Jack served as financial and crisis manager for one church after another, adding many on as regular clients. Today BAC assists dozens of churches across the country.
Jack was always a people person and was greatly loved and respected by those he served. Besides his ministry to Christian schools and churches, Jack wore many hats in his own church. Over a span of more than fifty years at Haddon Heights Baptist Church, Jack was a college age youth advisor, a Sunday School teacher and the superintendent, a deacon, a counselor and a pastoral search committee member.
Although raised in a Christian home, Jack did not personally receive Jesus Christ as his Savior until 1955, under the preaching of Lehman Strauss. He became a new creation in Christ, putting off old behaviors and ways of thinking and developing new ones. His goals for his family became centered in Kingdom work.
Jack modeled practical love for Christ over the many years by devoting time and resources to world missions. Jack and Jill frequently hosted missionaries. After their home began to be an empty nest, Jack converted a bedroom into a "prophet's chamber", so that missionaries on furlough always had a place to stay. He was generous in sharing his vacation home with several pastors and their families, as well as with his own children and their families. For thirty-five years his shore house has been a home away from home for children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
In April 1994, Jill, Jack's wife for forty-six years, lost her battle with cancer, and Jack lost the love of his life. But God had planned another love for Jack, and on Veteran's Day 1995 he and Lois Speirs were married. Combining both families, Jack and Lois now have forty-three grandchildren and seventeen great grandchildren, with a few on the way.
Jack loved songs about heaven and the return of Christ. On October 28, 2015, he was welcomed into the presence of his Savior. "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints."I also made some remarks at the funeral about dad as a father on behalf of the children. I closed with this:
Dad and Mom are now both in heaven with Jesus their Lord and Savior. But the legacy left by them both is immense and unless the Lord returns will likely endure for many decades if not longer. The Bier family name was on thin ice there for a while when the third and last child was born in the 20s to the Biers, a skinny boy from Belmar. But now, not only is the Bier name secure for the foreseeable future, but far more important than a name, Dad Bier’s legacy is secure in an ever growing number of solid homes and families reflecting that legacy, and committed to passing it down to yet another generation.Thanks, Dad, until we meet again.