In Memoriam: Bernt Stadven

It was a solemn day when friends from all over the world came together for a memorial service for our dear friend and church servant, Bernt Stadven. He died on 26 April 30, 2024. His life was a blessing in his time.

The day was a very special experience for the attendees. Around 1,700 people attended the memorial feast at Brunstad, and more than 6,000 experienced the historic day via streaming.

Ever since he was a child, Bernt Stadven has felt a love for God and Jesus. His life was characterized by devotion to God and a strong faith. As a youth of about 18 years old, he gave his heart to God, and he began to long for victory over sin. When he was in the military, he got in touch with a person from the church, now called Brunstad Christian Church (BCC), and he was immediately gripped by the message of the cross. “I love the daily cross and have done so ever since I heard the church’s message when I was quite young,” he testified on one occasion. This characterized his preaching, which was always clear and concise.

His son, Rune Stadven, read the eulogy from the family, and we were given an insight into Bernt Stadven’s upbringing and faith. He grew up on a farm in Trøndelag, and Rune explained: “Dad always feared God and had a strong faith right from when he was a child. He mentioned many times to us children how happy he was for his childhood home and the foundation he received there to believe in God.”

It was enlightening to get a little insight into his life, and how he developed into such a man, devoted to God. When we think of Bernt Stadven, it is natural to think of his late wife Liv Stadven, whom he met while doing his military service in the Navy at Horten.

“My mother and father had an exceptional relationship of love. It was so heartwarming and good, for as long as they lived. It was a dance on roses, as my father often said,” Rune read. Together with his beloved spouse Liv and their eight children, they have been of great importance and a blessing to countless people around the world.

Bernt Stadven was a thorough and hard-working man. He was head of building and zoning in Ski municipality, a job he held until he retired at the age of 64. Rune described it this way: “He was very well-liked, hard-working and structured, and there were no other municipalities that had faster processing times for building cases in Norway, as long as he was at the helm. Our children still meet people who remember him and speak highly of him.”

Kåre J. Smith expressed his gratitude for Bernt Stadven, “A first-class servant has now gone home”. He read from Psalm 64:10: “The righteous shall be glad in the Lord, and trust in Him. And all the upright in heart shall glory.” Why can such people rejoice? Because light arises for the upright, they choose the path that leads away from evil, and instead follow the king’s road into the kingdom of God. Bernt Stadven was one of these sincere people. He communicated God’s word to us in a simple and clear way, and through his ministry many people have received help, comfort and hope.

At the bier were many wreaths, from family, friends and local churches around the world, testifying to the gratitude for Bernt Stadven’s life and his blessed service.
At the bier were many wreaths, from family, friends and local churches around the world, testifying to the gratitude for Bernt Stadven’s life and his blessed service. Photo: BCC

On the wreath from the local church in Oslo and Follo, where Bernt Stadven led the meetings for many years, were verses from 2 Tim. 4, 7-8: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” A good description of Bernt Stadven’s life and faith.

At the bier, we sang the song “From the cross God’s light and pow’r shine clearly,”, number 365 in the songbook The Ways of the Lord. One of the lines reads: “Word of the cross can guide your life” This was precisely the title chosen for the memorial feast: “The word of the cross – the guide of life” – it suited Bernt Stadven so well.

Bernt Stadven was a servant of the Lord. He has now departed from this earth, but he leaves an example to follow, and his memory will live on among us as a shining light.

The text is an abbreviated extract from the eulogy in the magazine Skjulte Skatter, which can be read in full in the magazine’s June/July issue.

Listen to the song “O think that one day we’ll see heaven’s bright shore!”

The song is written by Rudolf Schwaiger, 1949, sung by Hilde S. Stadven.