Dear Friends,

I was asked for more details regarding Steve Mashburn’s life; so I contacted Judi and Christopher Fleet who were his loving caregivers for years.

Judi met Steve in her late teens when he began attending her church. Christopher met him in about 1984 through Steve’s street ministry. He began working part-time as Steve’s caregiver immediately. Christopher and Judi had a blind date in this same time frame. For the next 27 years, Christopher took care of Steve part-time and/or full-time. The last four years of that, the Fleets moved in with Steve and took care of him 24/7.

Here is Judi’s response to my request for information. ~ Brenda Spurlock


 Hi Brenda. Sorry if this is too lengthy 🙂

Past to present, Steve was in and out of a boy’s detention center, so when a Boy Scout camp opened up to wayward sons for the week, he chose that over a family reunion. He was diving off a low diving board when a boy pushed out from the side at the same time and Steve landed on his shoulder blade. His 5th and 6th vertebrae were broken. Steve said he was only paralyzed on half of his body, but someone picked him up who didn’t know what he was doing and Steve heard another pop, making him paralyzed on the other side. Steve was 15 years old. He almost lost his life several times, and even said a sinner’s prayer during the next 10 years; but when my departed sister, Kathy, who was ministering room to room, got to know Steve, his life started to turn around. (He wore cowboy boots in bed! He did that to keep his feet straight.) Kathy would ask Steve to come to church and he would always say no. Then Kathy asked him one night what he was doing. Steve said, “Nothing,” and she said, “Good, I’ll be over in a minute to pick you up for church.” Steve rededicated his life to the Lord and over the next 30 years he was able to minister to tens of thousands of people.

Steve preached on the streets. In fact, he was ordained a minister about 25 years ago, with an emphasis on street ministry. He would go into the downtown area of Wichita, sit in his wheelchair on a corner with a speaker, a small powerful amp and a mic that would reach ears a half mile away with the gospel. He preached in places like the Mardi Gras and the Indi 500! He especially liked going down to the “pit” at the Indi where most people wouldn’t venture. The bikers, other pretty tough characters, and regular crime activity would keep sane people away; but Steve wasn’t scared. His workers had to be pretty courageous to go in with him.

He got involved in the Summer of Mercy in Wichita and eventually took over a Godarchy telephone line from Brian Brown, where he would minister the love of Jesus and current pro-life events. He was extremely honored when OSA had him operate their website. During his life he had bricks thrown at him that swerved away from him, guns shot at him that wouldn’t go off, men come at him to beat him and kill him who were taken out by bigger guys (drunk, big bikers), and countless threats to his life; but he stayed true to Jesus. 3 1/2 years ago Steve got pneumonia. It kept him in the hospital for three months. He ended up getting the trach and vent at that time, as well as the g-tube. He could eat some, but he mostly took canned food and his meds by the g-tube. He still had enough use of his arms that, with a little help from his workers, he could use a track ball and a stick in his mouth to work a computer. Steve used to be able to type 35 words a minute!

Through the next years, Steve had some strokes that left him paralyzed completely from the neck down. He also got arthritis in his neck so he could not type with a stick, or work the computer. This caused him to become depressed. He was so busy before, that the last year had a lot of ups and downs, many downs.

The week before Steve passed; he told a sister that heaven was going to be wonderful. He got so sick that he had a non-stop seizure, so I felt I had to call an ambulance, even though he had told me he wanted to die at home. Doctors told us he was septic and even with the strongest antibiotics he wasn’t getting better. Steve wanted to go without his vent on, so we invited friends to come say goodbye, knowing he wouldn’t make it long without the trach. He actually lived three hours and we worshipped the Lord for the three hours before his heart stopped. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, so he is so happy now.

I know this is more than you wanted to know, Brenda, but I wanted to kinda review his life here on my cell as Christopher is driving the car. I had some extra time. There may be typing errors that you may want to fix before you forward this on. It’s a little tedious to fix since I am on my little cell. God bless you, Brenda.

Love, Judi