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Harold Clarence Bither
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Obituary for Harold Clarence Bither

Harold Clarence Bither was born January 14th, 1927 in the small town of Houlton, Maine. He passed away May 14th, 2018 in Temecula, California.

After graduation from Houlton High School he enrolled in Zion Bible Institute in Providence, Rhode Island.

Harold and Natalie met while attending Zion and were married on June 17, 1950.
Newly married and called to the ministry, Harold began to pastor his first church in Cary, Maine. Sunday services were commenced in an old country schoolhouse with no electricity or running water and two outhouses. Their first home was similar to their church facility – a one-room, run-down shack. Harold and Natalie were undaunted by the harsh surroundings and they worked hand in hand to build a thriving church. Their first child, daughter Darlene, was born in 1951 – just two weeks after their first anniversary.

Harold began to hold Sunday services in other small towns throughout Northern Maine, and they were soon referred to as “motorized circuit pastors”. Over the next several years Harold served as pastor of three small churches simultaneously: traveling on Sundays to preach in three different churches. One of their greatest joys was to return to these churches while visiting Maine.
In 1952 their second child, son Barry, was born in Houlton, Maine. In 1956 the Bither family moved to Brooklyn, New York, to accept the pastorate of Glad Tidings Tabernacle. This was an abrupt change in ministry, moving from the country to Brooklyn, New York. They spent two years there, learning about the various cultures that make up New York’s teaming millions. One of their many outreaches involved tent meetings held on Coney Island.
God seemed to be opening the door for another move and God led them to Everett, Massachusetts. Harold was senior pastor of Everett Assembly of God, one of the largest Assembly Churches in the New England States. Natalie was youth director, choir director, Sunday School teacher, wife and mother. In 1958 while living in Massachusetts, their third child was born, son Kevin.

In 1962 Harold and Natalie accepted a call to move with their young family from the East Coast to the Alaska Frontier. While serving as senior pastor of Anchorage Assembly of God, the family went through the Alaska earthquake of 1964. Over fifty homeless and displaced people lived with the Bither family for several weeks in their parsonage. While living in Alaska, their fourth child, son Glenn, was born in 1966.

Several years later Harold and Natalie made another big move – from Alaska to Bakersfield, California, where Harold was senior pastor of Bakersfield Assembly of God.

The family made their final move to Southern California, living in Upland, while Harold was senior pastor of Pomona First Assembly Of God. In 1979 Harold and Natalie felt led of God to start New Life Community Church in Claremont, Ca., where Harold was senior pastor until retiring from full-time ministry and moving to Temecula, California.

In the early 1980’s Harold attended a missions convention and learned of the hardship and extreme needs of the Haitian people. After accepting an invitation to visit Haiti, he and Natalie were directly confronted with the hopelessness they witnessed and they began traveling and ministering to the people. Harold and Natalie founded Haiti Endowment Fund and he served as President until 2015. This ministry and the people of Haiti had grown to become the sole purpose of their lives. For over thirty years they worked daily to further this ministry. Their love and dedication to the Haitian people has flowed over into the lives of their children, grandchildren, and many others, who work daily to fulfill the mission and vision of this ministry.

Harold is survived by his beloved wife Natalie, his sister Joyce Greener (Bob) and four children. Darlene Nieland (Brad), Barry Bither (Marilyn), Kevin Bither (Cindy) and Glenn Bither (Kathy), 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

A Celebration of Life will be held on May 19, 2018 at Calvary Murrieta at 10:00 AM.


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Previous Events

Service

Saturday

19

May

10:00 AM
Calvary Murrieta

24225 Monroe Ave
Murrieta, CA 92562


Memorial Contribution

Haiti Endowment Fund

P.O. Box 743
Temecula, CA 92593
In Lieu of Flowers the family suggests a memorial donation in honor of Harold's life to Haiti Endowment Fund.
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