Thursday, 16. September 2021

Obituary of Rev. Klaus Schmid

A man with deep commitment


The EMS mourns the death of Rev. Klaus Schmid, retired. He passed away unexpectedly on the morning of 10 September at the age of 79. From 1962 to 2017, Klaus Schmid had a significant influence on the Middle East work of the Evangelical Association for the Schneller Schools (EVS) and the Evangelical Mission in Solidarity (EMS). His focus was always on the children and young people at the Schneller schools in Jordan and Lebanon.

Klaus Schmid was born on 4 August 1942 in Balingen, Württemberg. After finishing secondary school, he went to Lebanon for voluntary service at the Johann Ludwig Schneller School (JLSS). This experience would influence his professional career. From 1964, he trained as a deacon, which took him back to the JLSS as a trainee from 1965-1967. After graduation, Schmid became head of education at the JLSS boarding home in 1969, and from 1970 to 1972 he took on the position of deputy director.

From 1974 to 1980, Schmid worked full-time for the Schneller Schools in Germany, namely as the Middle East Liaison Officer of the EMS and as Executive Secretary of the EVS in Stuttgart. During this time, he played a vital role in getting sponsoring churches in Lebanon and Jordan to take over responsibility for the Schneller Schools. As a result, the EVS was increasingly defined as a support association and no longer as a sponsoring association of the schools. The local sponsoring churches of the Schneller Schools became partner churches - and since 2012, member churches - of the EMS.

From 1980 to 2007 Klaus Schmid was in regular ministry for the Württemberg Church: first as deacon (1980-1988), then as pastor (1988-2007). However, he still continued his commitment to the EVS on a voluntary basis during this time: first as an association member, then as member of the Executive Committee and finally as Chair of the Association since 1997.

Schmid retired in 2007. He retained his honorary office as Chair of the Association. When it became clear at that time that the Theodor Schneller School (TSS) in Jordan was slipping deeper and deeper into a management crisis that threatened its existence, Schmid did not hesitate for long and volunteered to be sent by the EVS to Amman for one year to bring stability to the school.

Since then, Klaus Schmid devoted most of his free time to the Schneller schools. From 2007 to 2010, Schmid contributed significantly to the establishment of the "Schneller Foundation - Education for Peace", of which he was also Chair of the Executive Committee which has since become an important means of funding the Schneller schools. In 2017, Klaus Schmid was awarded the Bundesverdienstkreuz (Federal Cross of Merit) for his decades of commitment.

His death came all too soon and unexpectedly. It was out of a deep faith that Klaus Schmid always stood up for the young and the weak. Now he is fully in the presence of God and can see what he believed in. As the Evangelical Mission in Solidarity and the Evangelical Association for the Schneller Schools, we will always honour his memory. We pray that God may give his family and his relatives all the comfort they need.

Uwe Gräbe

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