Freehold Borough's Bethel A.M.E Church will remember their longtime pastor Rev. Malcolm Sheldon Steele on Friday, Sept.7.
Steele, 84, of Hightstown, was a pastor at Bethel A.M.E. Church for 36 years before his death at the Jersey Shore Medical Center following a short illness.
According to Steele’s obituary, Steele came to Freehold after a 1956 transfer to the New Jersey Annual Conference, receiving the appointment to preach and pastor at Bethel A.M.E. Church. More commonly referred to as “Rev”, Steele was also employed as Disciplinarian at the for 25 years.
Steele’s obituary further explained that in addition to Bethel A.M.E. Church and Park Avenue Elementary School, he was a very involved member of the Freehold Borough Community, serving as Vice-President of Concerned Citizen of Freehold, Board of Trustees of the Freehold Area Hospital now known as , a Trustee for the d, Chairman of the Juvenile Council Courts of Freehold, and a member of the Freehold Ministers Association.
Steele has been honored in many public buildings in the Borough and was also honored and placed in the Hall of Fame at the Park Avenue School library.
The Freehold Borough Mayor and Council remembered Steele during the Tuesday night Council meeting. Each present Council member offered their condolences to the Steele family and said a fond memory of Steele.
“As Mr. Mayor opened up the meeting, we are all up here tonight with heavy hearts after the passing of Reverend Malcolm Steele,” said Councilman Jaye Sims during Council comments. “He was a very iconic member of this community and played a very vital role in the Sims family. He will be missed and I can’t say enough about that tonight.”
Councilman Michael DiBenedetto continued Council comments on Steele’s death.
“I would like to say that I am also sorry to the Steele family for their loss. Reverend Steele was a very quiet man, he spoke through his smile that could warm your heart but he could also earn your respect by shaking your hand. He will be greatly missed in our community.”
Visiting for Steele will be Friday, Sept. 7, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Bethel A.M.E. Church. Funeral services will be held at the church on Saturday, Sept. 8, at 10 a.m. followed by interment at Cedar Hill Cemetery, Hightstown.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to the Ida F. Simpson Missionary Society or the Golden Age Club of Bethel A.M.E. Church. is in charge of arrangements.