The Story Begins
The unusual story of Artist, Max G. Greiner, Jr. is still unfolding. It is a story of creativity, faith, blessing, personal hardship, disobedience, repentance, transformation, obedience, empowerment and miracles - hundreds of genuine, documented, supernatural miracles. The Greiner’s life that reads more like fiction than fact.
The Formative Years
Max Greiner, Jr. has been an Artist all his life. He credits God for his artistic talent and for giving him parents, teachers, mentors, friends and a wife, that trained, encouraged and inspired him to explore the limits of his creative abilities. Max has succeeded professionally in many disciplines during his lifetime, but imagination and creativity have always been the basis of his work. These disciplines have included drawing, painting, sculpture, jewelry, architecture, creative writing, photography, graphic design, advertising and even taxidermy during his teenage years. Max believes that his measure of success would not be possible, if God had not brought many key people into his life, at just the right time. These people had a profound influence on him.
Max Glen Greiner, Jr. was born on December 16, 1951, at the Air Force Base in Warner Robins , Georgia . He was the first of four children born to Max and Bobbie Sue Greiner. The family was reared in Beaumont , Port Arthur and Irving , Texas . Max’s father earned his living in the world of finance, while his oldest son’s greatest desire since childhood was to be an Artist. Thankfully, all of the Greiner children, Max, Carol, Mark and Michael, were all encouraged to follow their own unique, God-given talents.
From the earliest age, Max developed a life-long love for art and nature. This led him into many outdoor experiences like hiking, backpacking, canoeing, archery, fishing and hunting. Max’s participation in the Boy Scouts earned him the highest rank of Eagle, and trips to Philmont National Scout Ranch and the 1967 World Jamboree.
Recognizing his God-given artistic talents at an early age, Max was encouraged by his parents and grand parents to pursue the hobbies of drawing, painting, sculpture and crafts. To avoid having to take piano lessons, like his younger sister, Carol, Max asked his parents to let him take art lessons instead. Therefore, twice a week, between the ages of 8 and 10, Max learned the basic fundamentals of drawing, painting from a real Artist named Rita Allen in Port Arthur , TX . Max supplemented this education by reading many “how to” books on art and artists. His acumen with both two and three-dimensional art developed simultaneously, and eventually included an interest in architecture. Max took every available art, shop and drafting class that was available in school, and eventually “lettered” in Art at his high school.
Thanks to his Godly parents, Max was introduced to God from birth. Max began his own personal relationship with Jesus Christ at age 7. He was water baptized at Calder Baptist Church in Beaumont , Texas , as a symbol of his new “Born-Again” faith. Because of this good relationship with God and his parents, Max was able to avoid pitfalls which most young people face during their adolescent years. Instead of pursuing smoking, drugs and alcohol during the turbulent sixties and seventies, instead Max pursued his art and wild animals with a bow and arrow. Eventually, his beautiful future wife, Sherry also became his focus. Taxidermy, camping, canoeing, backpacking, archery and Sherry, kept Max’s attention during his teenage years growing up in Port Arthur, Texas .
In addition to being the Editor of the Thomas Jefferson High School literary publication, “Ebbtide 70”, Max also formed his high schools first archery club in 1969. To the shock of everyone, including his English teacher, Max published his very first national magazine article, about his bowhunting exploits, at the age of 18, during his senior year. Click here to view Max's article.
The College Years
Max was accepted into the College of Architecture , at Texas A&M University, in the spring of 1970, where he earned a degree in Environmental Design in 1974. Max roomed with his lifelong friend, Michael Scott McWilliams, who grew up with Max in Port Arthur, having both completed the Boy Scout program together.
It was at Texas A&M that Max earned his nickname, “Mad Max”, given by professors, because of his “straight arrow” reputation, and many bizarre, imaginative art projects. Max learned the fundamentals of timeless design at college and acquired the technical skills needed to execute his abundance of creative ideas. Highly gifted professors like Rodney Hill and Alan Stacell inspired Max to new heights of imagination. Their confidence in Max’s ability and potential greatly encouraged the young Artist. Both Hill and Stacell told Max that he had as much “natural, God-given talent” as anyone. The professors challenged him to do something great with the gift.
During Max’s college years (1970 – 1974), he got involved with the local archery club, where he met his lifelong friend and spiritual mentor, Jim Beard, of College Station , Texas . God would use the friendship between these two men to stretch the faith of each of them. Max and Jim both served as President of the local archery club, the Brazos Bowmen. Max went on to become the youngest Bowhunter Vice-President of the Texas Field Archery Association. He then helped form the Lone Star Bowhunters Association, in 1974, becoming its first Vice-President. Max would also go on to start the first Bowhunter Education Program (archery hunter safety course) in Texas , becoming the first State Chairman. Max worked with the two state archery associations, and the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, for the improvement and protection of bowhunting in Texas .
The Professional Years
After graduation from college in May of 1974, Max moved to Dallas , Texas to work for The Architects Partnership. On August 16, 1975, Max married his high school sweetheart, Sherry Sorgee. The couple was married outdoors, on the Greiner ranch near Woodville, Texas. The couple designed every aspect of the wedding, including their wedding rings, invitations, ceremony, food and wedding cake. Following their unique wedding in the “Piney Woods”, the couple left for a three-week honeymoon in Colorado . Their honeymoon included a week of backpacking and bowhunting for elk, high in the wilderness area south of Steamboat Springs.
In January of 1976, Max and Sherry moved to Southern California so Max could accept an advertising job with Jennings Compound Bow, Inc., the second largest archery company in the world at that time, based in Valencia . Tom Jennings, an accomplished Master bow maker, founded the company and perfected the compound bow. His company became one of the largest archery companies in the world, with hundreds of employees. Max was hired at the age of 28, to be their Graphic Designer, a commercial art job. However, he was quickly promoted as the Director of the Advertising & Promotion Department, responsible only to the President and Vice-president of the international corporation. Max’s responsibilities included creating national magazine advertising, full color catalogs, marketing materials, tradeshow exhibits and assisting in the aesthetic and functional design of the archery equipment.
In September of 1976, God supernaturally intervened in Max’s life, for the first time on a bowhunt for Black bear, near McCall , Idaho . God literally changed Max’s life forever by working an incredible miracle in front of nine witnesses, after speaking personally to Max for the first time. Max was only 24 years old at the time. Max testified public ally the next morning to what God told him, and everything predicted came to past in front of nine witnesses and a film crew. To read the full account of this amazing miracle, click here.
It was at this same time in Max’s life, that he was invited to join the Bowhunting & Conservation Committee of the National Field Archery Association, a select, seven man national committee. This was the group that wrote the archery hunter education course, which would eventually become the International Bowhunter Education Program. This six-hour course teaches hunter ethics and responsibilities, and is now taught in all 50 states and around the world.
Max, only 28 years old at the time, was the youngest member of the distinguished national committee, headed William H. Wadsworth. Bill, a retired top-level national executive with the Boy Scouts of America was an exceptional leader and world famous bowhunter, who greatly inspired Max by his character, integrity and tenacity. This volunteer group eventually formed the National Bowhunter Education Foundation, the national organization that administered the program on the national and international level.
Max served as first NBEF Vice-President and later as President of the organization during the late seventies and early eighties. During his tenure, Max created unique fund-raising programs, using his artwork that raised over $100,000.00 for the 501c3, non-profit organization. These fundraisers were known as the “Ishi” and the “Pope & Young” Art Projects, which consisted of drawings, paintings and sculptures of the famous archers.
The “Fine Art” Years
In November of 1977, in a divine appointment, God allowed Max and Sherry to meet Doug and Nancy Van Howd, of Auburn , California . Doug was a nationally successful “Fine Artist”, who like Max, had a passion for bowhunting and wildlife. Even though dozens of young artists had previously asked Doug to be their mentor, Max was the first to receive Doug’s personal help. Max and Sherry didn’t know at the time that Doug and Nancy were committed, spirit-filled Christians that God intended to use in the next stage of Max’s development. Doug was able to provide both artistic and spiritual advice during the early years of Max’s new independent art career. After meeting the Van Howds and praying, Max and Sherry knew in their hearts, they were to pursue Max’s lifelong dream of being a self-employed Artist.
Therefore, in the spring of 1978, Max and Sherry left the security of “real” jobs in California , to pursue Max’s dream. At the time, they were both well paid. Sherry was working as a bilingual receptionist for some doctors, and Max was working at a “dream job”, which combined art and archery. However, the Holy Spirit knew the plans He had for Max, (Jeremiah 29: 11) even though the Artist did not know it at the time.
The Fine Art Career Begins
In February of 1978, Max and Sherry resigned from their lucrative California jobs and moved to Woodville Texas , a small rural town of only 3,000 people. Max’s parents owned a beautiful 116-acre weekend, vacation ranch in the beautiful Piney Woods, and the Artist though this would be a good place to begin his career, since the rent was free!
* TO BE FINISHED LATER…
The Artist was born to Max and Bobbie Sue Greiner
on December 16, 1951, at Warner Robins Air Force
Base in Georgia.