Stephen Louis Combest was born in St. Joseph, Missouri on October 14th, 1953 to Shirley Mae and Raymond Combest. In 1956, Shirley and Steve’s baby brother, Gregory, lost their lives in a car accident. Steve was the oldest of his father’s six children, and is survived by his brothers Phil and Scott, and sisters Lisa and Tracy.
A legendary full-back on his high school football team, Steve was devastated when he suffered an injury that took him permanently out of the game. His hope of a football scholarship was lost, and to add insult to this injury, his high school sweetheart left the state for college.
One of Steve’s favorite stories to tell was the way he found Jesus in a Hindu temple. In his late teens, Steve began visiting a Vedanta temple in Hollywood. Struggling in his attempt to reach “Nirvana,” Steve went to the guru to seek advice. The teacher looked him over and said, “You’re American, yes? Try meditating on Jesus.” Steve went home that night and began meditating on Jesus. The heavens opened for him, and he and never looked back.
Soon after, Steve began his academic career at a few different bible colleges in California, but a few months before graduation, he heard a call to join a team starting a church in Colorado. He continued in his passion for ministry and pastored thousands throughout his life with a particular passion for God’s healing power and ministering to the poor.
In 1978, he met the love of his life, Michele. They were married in December, 1980. Steve became stepfather to Michele’s young daughter Rachel Terese, and had four more daughters (Julie Anne, Lydia Michele, Zadie Theresa Lynn, and Rebecca Grace) and one son (Gregory Peter) with Michele. Steve is also survived by three grandchildren: Ethan Douglas Bush, Alissa Michele Bush, and Tulsi Adrien Nelson.
Reclusive, surprisingly silly, often formidable, and always mysterious, Steve’s family didn’t always know what to expect from him, but they knew one thing: he sought after God with his whole heart. Steve’s last Christmas he encouraged his family to share in joy and not wallow in the sorrow of his illness. In his devotional notes his family discovered his lists of “Great Joys.”
Steve died on April 4th, 2018 surrounded by his family and close friends singing him to sleep. We love you and miss you immensely.