Eldon E. Elsberry, 79, of Central City died Wednesday, August 19, 2020 at his daughter’s home. Funeral Services will be Monday, August 24, 2020 at 10 am at the Heartland Evangelical Free Church with Pastor Zeke Pipher. Visitation will be Sunday, August 23, 2020 from 5-7 p.m. at the Church. Burial will be in the Central City Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to New Hope Christian School in Cairo and Nebraska Christian Schools and condolences may be sent to the family at www.soltwagnerfuneral.com.
Eldon Earl Elsberry was born March 20, 1941 to Earl and Lottie (Jensen) Elsberry in Royal, NE. He attended Royal Schools and graduated in 1959. Following graduation Eldon farmed for a few years, then attended St. Paul Bible College in St. Paul, MN, where he met Geneva Ford. They dated for a few years and married October 26, 1963 in her home town of Louisville, KY. They came back to the family farm near Royal. While on the farm, Rebecca Christine was born on August 15, 1964 followed by Judith Joy on May 10, 1966.
On January 28, 1966 there was a terrible snow storm; Eldon was headed to a farm sale to begin establishing a farm of his own. As he headed to the sale he ran into the back of a snow plow, he spent three days wrestling with God about his future calling as a pastor. In August of 1966 Eldon, Geneva, Rebecca, and Judi packed up and headed to Toccoa Falls Bible College in Toccoa, GA. In the following years as Eldon worked full time and attended college part time, two more daughters were born to them, Beth Geneva on February 20, 1969 and Christi Rene on November 26, 1971. Upon graduation in May of 1974 they took their first church in Oskaloosa, IA. Eldon returned his family to Toccoa Falls Bible College in 1977 where he worked as Head of Plant Operations. On November 7, 1977 following a week of torrential rain the earthen dam above the campus broke, releasing 26 acres of water into the valley. Eldon, a volunteer fireman, was watching a bridge for the flooding when he was nearly drowned by the flood waters but God had other plans for him.
In 1979 Eldon pastored at Christian Missionary Alliance in Madison, IN. In 1981, Eldon then moved his family back to his home town near Brunswick, NE. He filled a pulpit for a small group of people who were looking for a church pastor. This church became Orchard Evangelical Free Church. In 1984 he took a position at Central City Evangelical Free which would later be known as Heartland Evangelical Free Church. In 1987 Eldon took the Cairo Baptist Church and retired from ministry in 2008 after 21 years. Following his retirement Eldon and Geneva spent winters helping build churches, houses, and preaching in Mexico and Texas. He filled pulpits for churches and pastors in the area. He performed countless weddings, funerals, and baby dedications for years. Baptizing and leading many to a deep and meaningful relationship with Jesus Christ. He also dedicated all ten of his grandchildren. Eldon loved his God first, and Geneva and his four daughters fiercely. He loved people.
Eldon is survived by his wife of 56 years, Geneva, of Central City; his daughters, Rebecca (Todd) Williams, of Siloam Springs, AR, Judith (Mark) McHargue, of Central City, Beth (Allen) Richard, of Owasso, OK, Christi (Lon) Loy, of Central City; his grandchildren, Andrew (Emily) of Central City, Jessica, of Salt Lake City, UT, Jordan (Janae), of Central City, Morgan (Scott), of Carrolton, TX, Rachel (Daniel), of Holland, MI, Makenna, of Lincoln, Adelynn of Owasso, OK, Charis, of Central City, Bryce, of Owasso, OK, and Micah, of Central City; and great-grandchildren Carl, Rex, Willa, Evelyn, Austin, and Charlotte; a brother and sister - Richard Elsberry & Jeanette Pellatz
Eldon is preceded in death by his parents, Earl Raymond and Lottie Louise Elsberry.