History of the Restoration Movement

Stephen Daniel Eckstein, Sr.


Stephen Daniel Eckstein, Sr.

Stephen Daniel Eckstein, Sr., was born April 9, 1893, in Sassmach, Latvia, now part of Russia. He was the son of Samuel and Sarah Eckstein.

He attended two years at a rabbinical school in Latvia. He was raised in an Orthodox Jewish home in Latvia. He came to America before World War I and roamed the nation. He tells his thrilling story in his first book, entitled, "From Sinai To Calvary," in a chapter, "A Hebrew Mission In Dallas."

On December 24, 1921, he married Miss Bertha Margaret Foster. To this union four boys and one girl were born. The boys were Stephen Daniel, Jr., Paul David, John Milton, and William Louis. The daughter was named Adele Ruth.

Eckstein began preaching in 1921 in Denver, Colorado. In "From Sinai To Calvary," he tells about his conversion to Jesus Christ in 1921. He tells about the great difficulty of converting Jews because of baptism.

His second book, "From Golgatha To Heaven," printed in 1974, came from the popular demand from many readers of his first book. It tells of many Jewish customs and problems which help Christians to understand why it is difficult to convert Jews.

Eckstein had a Jewish mission in Dallas, Texas, from 1922-34. He spoke at churches in many cities in Texas and Oklahoma. He worked out of his own home from 1934 to 1975 in Kansas City, Missouri. He preached the gospel in 20 States. He spoke at many seminars, lectureships, and area-wide meetings.

The two books he wrote are still available from his son, Stephen Jr., in Portales, New Mexico.

Eckstein served as an elder of the Grandview Church of Christ, Grandview, Missouri (a suburb of Kansas City), for ten years. He taught many classes explaining Old Testament passages and their application in the New Testament.

Eckstein could speak Hebrew, Yiddish, German, Lettish and use a Greek Lexicon.

He wrote many tracts and articles for the Firm Foundation and a few for the Gospel Advocate. He wrote a hymn entitled, "I Glory In The cross of Christ."

Eckstein baptized 24 Jews into Christ during his ministry, and hundreds of non-Jews. He had an aged sister, Rachael Himelhoch, who lived in Flint, Michigan, and a brother, Isaac, who lived in Tel Aviv, Israel. Isaac came to America in 1955 to visit Eckstein. They talked about the Bible and spiritual things. Later he indicated to Eckstein's son, Stephen, that his father "did the true and right thing," he meant in becoming a Christian.

Eckstein died March 13, 1975, in Kansas City, Missouri.

Survivors include his wife Bertha Margaret; four sons, Stephen Daniel, Jr., Paul David, John Milton, and William Louis; one daughter, Adele Ruth; and 11 grandchildren.

Funeral service was conducted in Kansas City, Missouri, with Robert Jarrell, Stephen Eckstein, Jr., and Paul David Eckstein officiating. Burial was in Kansas City, Missouri, with interment in Floral Hills Cemetery.

-In Memoriam, by Gussie Lambert, Shreveport, LA, c. 1988, pages 84,85

At Rest - Gospel Advocate Obituary

Ecksteln-Stephen D. Eckstein, Sr., noted missionary to the Jews, passed from this life March 13 In Kansas City, Mo., at the age 82. Born in Latvia (then part of the Russian Empire), he attended rabbinical school there and later, when Latvia became free, he migrated to the United States in his young manhood, where he accepted Jesus as the Messiah.

Following his marriage in Kansas City to Bertha Foster, who survives him, he operated a Jewish mission in downtown Dallas, Texas, during the 1920's and 1930's. In the late thirties they moved to Kansas City where he continued to work among the Jews and to preach in many states. He also served as an elder and a teacher of the Grandview church of Christ there.

He is the author of two autobiographical books: From Sinai to Calvary (1959) and From Golgotha to Heaven (1974), and a hymn. "I Glory in the Cross of Christ."

His son, Paul, is minister of the Kanawha City church of Christ in Charleston. W. Va. His son, Lou, is a surgeon in Greenville. S. C. His son, John, and daughter, Ruth Engle, are active in church work in the Kansas City area.

-Edited from Gospel Advocate, CXVII.16, April 17, 1975, p.254,255, under At Rest – Report sent in by James Robert Jarrell

Directions To The Grave Of S.D. Eckstein

Stephen D. Eckstein, Sr. is buried in Kansas City, Missouri in the Floral Hills Memorial Gardens. The cemetery is located on the corner of Blue Ridge and E. Gregory Boulevards. The best way to get to the location is from I-435. I-435 runs from north to south through the east central part of the city of Kansas City. If you are on I-70 head south on I-435 and take Exit 67 and head east on E. Gregory Boulevard. The cemetery entrance will be on Blue Ridge Boulevard. However it may be best to head to the rear entrance, as the grave is closest to the rear of the cemetery. So, before getting to Blue Ridge Blvd. turn left on James A Reed Rd. Go to the second entrance and turn in. Take the first left, and Section 10 will be on your right. The location on the map below shows the general location of the grave in the section. The pictures below may also help locate the grave. When I was there the curb showed the numbers. Go to Curb #10 and then go straight in to plot number 203.

GPS Coordinates of the Grave:
39°00'03.4"N 94°29'27.5"W
or D.d. 39.000944,-94.490975

Garden Of Ascension
Curb #10 Plot #203

Blue Dot Represents Grave Location, Red Arrow Pointing To It

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