Dr. Joe Maurice Bamberg, 91, of Milton, went home to be with the Lord Monday morning May 21, 2007. He died peacefully from complications following surgery.
Joe was born July 13, 1915 in Brent, Alabama.
Dr. Bamberg attended Bob Jones College and Southwestern Seminary. He had an honorary doctorate of divinity from Stetson University.
After college, Joe led music in revival services in North Carolina with preacher Jimmy Johnson and it was there that he met Betty Larkins who became his wife. He attended seminary in order to become an Army Chaplain and served two years in Hawaii.
On Aug 26, 1947, he accepted the call to First Baptist Church in Milton, Florida and led that congregation till he retired to Pastor Emeritus status in 1980.
In Milton "Brother Joe" as he was affectionately known, was not content to just be a preacher. He broadcast a 15-minute radio program, "Coffee with the Parson" five days a week for 26 years. As he found prospects around Santa Rosa County, he preferred to establish missions near them rather than try to have them travel to his church. He did not like to ask others to do what he was not willing to do. On a Saturday you might find him leading others from the church to fix up a building or clearing land for a mission or some project. He was especially proud of "Camp Koinonia" which is used for day and overnight camping. He delighted in visiting people in local hospitals whether from First Baptist or not and was a strong supporter of getting the Santa Rosa Medical center built.
After his retirement he and Betty spent their summers at a mountain cabin in Clyde, NC and were active in First Baptist church in Waynesville. He preached in a revival in England, visited missionaries in Africa and went to Chile on a mission trip with Betty.
He was active with the Pensacola Habitat for Humanity.
He is preceded in death by his father and mother, Robert and Minnie Bamberg, his brother "Red" Bamberg and his son, Joe Maurice Jr. who died in infancy. He is survived by Betty Bamberg, his wife of nearly 64 years, his daughter Barrie, his sons, Tim and Bob (Ruth), one grandchild Eddie (Dawn), two great grandchildren Cana Rose and Noah along with his sister, Minnie Ward Griffin and numerous nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held on Friday May 25 at 2 pm at First Baptist Church in Milton. Visitation will be Thursday evening from 5 to 8 pm and Friday starting at 9 am at the Church.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that a donation be made either to the Bamberg Chapel at First Baptist (First Baptist Church, 6797 Caroline St. Milton, Fl 32570) or Habitat for Humanity (Pensacola Habitat for Humanity, P.O. Box 13204, Pensacola, Fl 32591-3204).
LEWIS FUNERAL HOME in Milton is in charge of the arrangements.