More Than a Music Man: The Movement Remembers Dean Schield
By Carl Stagner
There are but a few voices in the Church of God that are easily recognizable. Consider two of the smooth voices of the Christian Brotherhood Hour, Pastor Dale Oldham and James Earl Massey, or the warm, baritone singing of Doug Oldham. Certainly, who couldn’t help but identify the unmistakable high notes resounding from Ron Patty and his daughter Sandi, known as “The Voice.” But among those who have been around the Movement for at least a generation or two, the voice of Dean Schield would certainly make the list for his distinctly dynamic sound. Yet, as the Church of God remembers the beloved pastor, worship leader, vocalist, instrumentalist, choir director, and producer and host of CBH—among other roles he fulfilled with zeal and excellence—we offer tribute to the life and legacy of Dean Schield, more than a music man.
On June 25, 2021, following a six-month battle with health-related challenges, Dean Clark Schield went home to be with the Lord. Over his years as minister of music, youth pastor, and senior pastor in Liberal, Kansas; Pomona, California; Dayton, Ohio; Casper, Wyoming; Modesto, California; and Rockvale, Tennessee, Dean demonstrated his broad influence and heart for people. His high-profile leadership on the Mass Communications Board of the Church of God for fourteen years was greatly appreciated by countless beneficiaries, including the listeners of the CBH radio broadcast, which he served as both producer and host for several years. Many came to know Dean for his leadership of several tour groups attending World Conferences of the Church of God, while many more became fans of his singing as part of the Christian Brothers Quartet (composed also of Ron and Carolyn Patty, Doug Oldham, and Ernie Gross), among other groups to which he added a strong baritone or tenor part.
But Dean was also a family man, as well as a genuine friend and mentor to numerous across the country and around the world. He was a fierce competitor on the tennis courts and the golf course. He loved his wife Sandy of sixty-three years and had an incredibly soft spot for his children, grandsons, and extended family. Not only did he receive his bachelor of science from Anderson University (then Anderson College), but he also received an honorary doctorate from Warner Pacific University. Ultimately, the details of his life compiled in obituary form simply cannot adequately describe the heart of “Papa Dean.” Sandy Schield offers some perspective.
“Dean was a kind, gentle, quiet but strong, determined, competitive, and uniquely gifted man of faith,” she reflects. “He was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, always eagerly involved in whatever family activities were going on at the time—dinner, baseball, golf, or tennis. In retirement, it would be impossible to count the hours, the miles he traveled, and the cold and hot hours he endured, to watch our grandsons play baseball.”
Sandy continues. “He lived publicly and privately by the biblical precepts of which he sang and preached. The numerous hours he spent in ministry to the body of Christ, day in and day out, was nothing in comparison to the hours he spent in prayer. He was quick to smile, laugh, and give an encouraging word. He had the gift of bringing out the very best in all the persons he met. As we celebrated Dean’s life, we became more and more aware of the many persons he mentored and influenced, and the impact he had on close friends, as well as those from a distance…. No matter what life threw at him, he chose to pray with an unwavering confidence that God was already at work in the situation. We miss him greatly, but are confident that he is even more alive in heaven.”
On July 10, 2021, a celebration service for the life of Dean Clark Schield, held at Church of the City in Franklin, Tennessee, was especially worshipful and joyful.
In lieu of flowers, the family requested donations be made to Christians Broadcasting Hope. Learn more about CBH, and discover opportunities for support, at www.christiansbroadcastinghope.org.
Feature (top) photo: Dean Schield singing at the Church of God Convention in 2009.