Jeff Steinberg: Tiny person, giant heart

 PHOTO PROVIDED    On Father’s Day, June 16, internationally acclaimed singer and humorist “Tiny Giant” Jeff Steinberg and his ministry team will deliver a special message for the 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. worship services at Englewood United Methodist Church, 700 E. Dearborn St.

PHOTO PROVIDED
On Father’s Day, June 16, internationally acclaimed singer and humorist “Tiny Giant” Jeff Steinberg and his ministry team will deliver a special message for the 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. worship services at Englewood United Methodist Church, 700 E. Dearborn St.

Jeff Steinberg is no stranger to adversity.

Performing for more than 40 years, Steinberg was born with no arms and malformed legs, but that didn’t stop him from taking charge and sharing about his life experiences through humor and song. He took the moniker, “Tiny Giant,” based on his 4-foot, 6-inch stature and living larger than life. He will be appearing at Englewood United Methodist Church for all Sunday services to deliver his Father’s Day message.

“It means a lot for people to hear Jeff ’s story,” said Vic Willis, pastor at EUMC. “He helps put things in perspective the way people can rise above and beyond their situation.”

Born to Jewish parents, Steinberg experienced multiple orthopedic surgeries since the age of 2. He was taught to wear a brace on his right leg and received his first prosthetic arm when he was 4. He completed public school when he was 19, growing up as a ward of the state of Pennsylvania since he was 9, according to his website, tinygiant.com .

“We tend to adjust our vision based on what is around us,” Steinberg said. “A lot of times, we lower our expectations. I want people to know that you can do so much in spite of what’s going on around us. If we look in the mirror and think no better, we’ll never amount to what God meant us to be.”

Now in Orlando, Steinberg takes his message to whomever will listen, helping to raise more than $250,000 to help people with disabilities. He’s traveled all over the world with his team, performing in Germany, England, Canada and the Bahamas. He even appeared at a rally with Mother Teresa, according to his website.

“I’m married, a father and a grandfather with four children and six grandchildren,” Steinberg said. “I’m looking to challenge dads to see themselves that we’re masterpieces in progress, that God designed us to be fearfully and wonderfully made.”

Willis said he heard about Steinberg from a fellow pastor in Punta Gorda.

“He’s a delightful guy,” Willis said. “He exudes faith and enthusiasm. He has a real positive spirit. I’ve talked to a few who have experienced him in concert. He helped them with their lives and put things into perspective.”

Steinberg recalled a time when a young child approached him.

“The child asked me about why I have a hook,” he said. “I replied, ‘Because I have no hands.’ He followed up asking why I have no hands, I replied, ‘Because I chewed on my fingers down to the nub.’”

Steinberg said he’s looking forward to coming to Englewood.

“I always like to help in any way I can,” Steinberg said. “I want to show people that they can do whatever it takes to get the job done, and faith plays a part.”

Steinberg has released numerous albums and has an autobiography called “Masterpiece in Progress.”

EUMC is located at 700 E. Dearborn St. in Englewood. Services will be 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. All are invited.

For more information, visit englewoodumc.net or call 941-474-5588.

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About Tom

Tom Chang is a freelance journalist with a background in multimedia journalism and web publishing. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Journalism and Media Studies from the University of South Florida St.Petersburg. He graduated in 2004 with a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communications at USF Tampa. Tom's interests include a little bit of everything from entertainment to sports. He also wishes to delve into creative writing writing sci-fi/fantasy stories. Tom was recently the Online Editor for USF St. Petersburg's the Crow's Nest, he joined the staff in January 2010 where he started freelance writing, photographing, copy editing and later became a staff writer. Tom’s freelance experience in journalism amassed a wide range of companies including Creative Loafing, The Focus Magazine, Lutz News, Examiner.com, and Tampa Tribune.
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