Reverend Robert Stewart
1936 - 2014
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Reverend Robert Curran Stewart

Fuquay Varina

"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." 2 Timothy 4:7

Reverend Robert Curran Stewart, 77, went to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on January 20, 2014.

He was born in Walhalla, SC, on September 12, 1936, to the late James L. Stewart and Orpha C. Stewart. After growing up in Greenville, SC, he graduated from Greenville High School and Furman University. Upon graduation from Furman in 1958, Robert married the love of his life, Jo Ellen Bradley, to whom he was married for 55 wonderful years. Together they went to Ft. Worth, TX, where Robert received a Masters Degree in Religious Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. After seminary Robert served for 2 years in the United States Army as a 1st Lieutenant where he was the Moral and Welfare Officer for the post and was given a Meritorious Service Award. Also during his Army service, he served as Minister of Education at Central Baptist Church in Lawton, OK.

Robert continued to serve his Lord as Minister of Education at Central Baptist Church in Greenville, SC from l962-1964 and followed in ministry as Minister of Education and Administration at Friendly Avenue Baptist Church in Greensboro, NC from 1964-1978. In 1978, he joined the staff at the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina as State Sunday School Director and later became Church Programs Director and Senior Consultant for the Convention until his retirement in 2003.

His love and passion for helping churches to grow their Sunday Schools and reach people for Christ, resulted in being frequently referred to as "Mister Sunday School. "Throughout his life, he strived to be a good friend and an encourager, and he was. He was known and loved in Baptist Churches throughout North Carolina and influenced many lives.

After retirement, Robert continued to lead workshops and conferences for churches in the state and served on the board of the North Carolina Baptist Men. He was a member of Woodhaven Baptist Church in Apex, where he served in many ways, including Sunday School Director, Deacon, and Sunday School Teacher. He loved music and also sang in the church choir.

He had a passion for missions as he made trips to Brazil, Belize, and Alaska, and served on a regular basis at the Wilmington Street Homeless Shelter.

He is survived by his wife, Jo Ellen Stewart; daughter, Kerri Hurley and husband, Brad, of Fayetteville; son, Steven Stewart and wife, Peggy, of Cheraw, SC; and special joys of his life, granddaughters, Amanda and Meredith Hurley, and grandson, Gray Hurley, all of Fayetteville. He is also survived by brothers, Dr. James L. Stewart, Jr. (Mary Ann) of Columbus, NC, and Woody Stewart (Reen) of Simpsonville, SC.

A celebration of his life will be held Friday, January 24, 2014 at 3:00pm at Woodhaven Baptist Church in Apex, with visitation preceding the service from 1:00 until 2:45pm.

Memorials may be made to the Robert and Jo Ellen Stewart Scholarship Endowment for Christian Education students at Campbell Divinity School through the North Carolina Baptist Foundation, 201 Convention Drive, Cary, NC 27511.

Condolences may be sent through:

Published in The News & Observer on Jan. 23, 2014.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
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33 entries
February 3, 2014
Robert was an inspiration to me from the first time we met. We were both leading a leadership training conference in Hickory, N.C at First Baptist Church and I was so impressed by the servant leadership of this Godly man. He became a mentor throughout my ministry in NC and Texas and I have tried to do the same for others. May God bless each of you with comfort as you reflect upon every memory. Judy J. Stamey, Phd Fort Worth, TX
Judy Stamey
January 27, 2014
A saint has been called home. Robert was such an inspiration for so many reasons but especially for his wonderful Christian demeanor and his passion for his God and for people. I had the fortune to have him serve as my life coach 10 years ago as I entered full-time ministry and served with him on the board of CCG&D at Chowan. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Williamston Memorial Baptist Church
Dean Harrell
January 25, 2014
Jo Ellen - my heart goes out to you. I am sure you were exhausted after the service yesterday. You were most gracious to greet us from Friendly Avenue after the service. It was also a blessing to know Robert when we worked at the Baptist Building.
Pauline R. Phipps
January 25, 2014
I loved looking at all of your family photos, especially those of your dad with Amanda, Meredith and Gray. How blessed they have been to have had him and your mother in their lives in such a significant way. As you, they will carry him in their hearts always. You are in my prays and I am smiling knowing that our dads are together sharing in God's great glory.
I love you!
January 25, 2014
Kerri, Brad and family:
Jack and I send our sincerest feelings of sadness, yet relief (since his pain is over) for you and your family members.
Myrt Hurley
January 24, 2014
When my family moved to Greensboro in 1969 our family was blessed to join Friendly Avenue Baptist Church. My life and my family have been eternally blessed by love, support and influence of Robert and Jo Ellen. My thoughts and prayers are with you all at this time of loss.
Martha Lou Cates Bendl
January 24, 2014
So many of us were touched by Robert. He made us feel like family and was always so genuine. He was an encourager and always supportive. He modelled leadership; he has been and will continue to be a great role model. I count myself blessed to have known him over the last 17-18 years.
Andy Forbis
January 24, 2014
JoEllen and Family,

So many awesome memories. Prayers for all of you, for God's arms around you giving you strength and peace that only He can give. Special love, Bobbie (Branyon)
January 24, 2014
I will miss my mentor and friend of 25 years. I have worked with him on the local church and state level. A spiritual giant has passed on to his reward. We deeply feel the loss. Heaven is richer today!
Craig Saunders
January 24, 2014
We are so very sorry for your loss. Lifting up your family during this time - love, Mark & Diane Antonelli
January 23, 2014
Robert was truly the epitome of a true Christian gentleman . We are thankful he was our friend . Tom and Jo
Tom and Jo Womble
January 23, 2014
Robert was such a talented minister who could motivate adults and youth alike to do things we never believed possible. It has been many years, but his impact remains steady in my life. Love and prayers to the family.
Cindy Layne Chu
January 23, 2014
Jo Ellen and family,
It grieves me to know that you have lost Robert. He was such a great servant of the Lord. He was a special friend to me as I was one of the "Special Sunday School" workers of the convention under him. He will be missed so much by so many. .May God bless you in these days. Ben Hall, Troy NC
January 23, 2014
Dear Jo Ellen and family,
We were saddened to hear yesterday of the passing of Robert. You and Robert meant so much to Doug and I when we came to Woodlawn those years ago. Of course had known Robert before but we learned to love you both in a very different way during those times with your Sunday School Class. May God provide the guidance and comfort you need at this very difficult time. We love you and will be praying for you and your family. Much love, Diane and Doug West 3081 Cameron Village Ct, Winston-Salem, NC 27103......yes we moved.
Diane West
January 23, 2014
Dear Kerri, Brad and family,
I am thinking of you and send you my sincere sympathies. The photographs in the gallery reflect the wonderful and happy life your father lived, and show what remarkable joy your family brought to him every day.
Sincerely, Margaret O. Kirk and family
January 23, 2014
Dear Kerri and family, Our heart felt sympathy is sent your way. When you have such a wonderful Father, a huge hole is left for those behind. Scripture promises us that we can take joy in knowing that you will see him again. Until then, you carry him close in your heart. Love Donna Woodcock Grice and family.
Donna Grice
January 23, 2014
Robert was the kind of person everyone wants to be and not many become. He was a true friend and will be missed by all that knew him. May God bless his family and friends during these days.

J.W. Hutchens
January 23, 2014
I always enjoyed visiting with Robert and his North Carolina team when we had state Sunday School meetings in Nashville. Fun, a gracious gentleman, insightful and committed to the local church. I was sorry to hear of his passing. Many will miss him.
Sharon Roberts
January 23, 2014
It was my honor to know and of course, love Robert Stewart through his daughter Kerri. Her stories and helpful hints from her dad on how to show Jesus in the midst of life's dilemmas will stay with our Bible Study group forever. Never did I see him, even when sick, be anything but gracious, humble, generous and kind. He showed me Jesus without saying a word. I am better for having known him and his wonderful wife and daughter.
Tina Royal
January 23, 2014
My deepest regards to Jo Ellen and the extended family in your loss.
Geneva Metzger
January 23, 2014
I am so sorry for your loss. Robert was always gracious and kind. It was a joy to serve with him when I was a Board Member at the convention. I will always remember Robert and his Christian testimony.
Larry Soblotne
January 23, 2014
Robert guided me through difficult waters on more than one occasion. He was such a compassionate soul.
Terry Farmer
January 23, 2014
When we were transferred to Greensboro, NC in 1968 we had two sons in the youth department. It was very important to us to find a church with an excellent youth minister. Robert Stewart was that person. He made a positive impact on the lives of our sons, David and Bill. My condolences to Jo Ellen and family.
Mary Ellen Ahrens
January 23, 2014
It was a privilege to know Rev. Stewart in the years I served at the Baptist Building. He was unfailingly considerate, and such an encourager. His was a life well-lived for Christ. You are all in my prayers.
Jetta Allen
January 23, 2014
To The Stewart Family, some of my fondest memories are of a time growing up as part of the Stewart Family. Church Trips, sleepovers, traveling to Greenville with Steve and the Family. My Heart and Prayers go out to the entire Family as I feel our loss in Robert. God bless you all as you move forward.
Terry Smith
January 23, 2014
There are no words to describe our feeling of loss right now. We join all of the others who feel that there is a big void in their lives now that Robert is gone. Robert always encouraged everyone around him to grow. Our hearts are heavy for you, JoEllen, Kerri, and Steve and your families. JoEllen, you and Robert, have been here to support us and our family during many of the times of sadness in our lives. You will always be in our prayers.
Mary and Bo Conyers
January 23, 2014
To the Robert Stewart Family: Be assured of prayers for you all during this time. Thank you for sharing Robert with all of us in NC. He truly loved helping churches grow their Sunday Schools. He will be truly missed.

Connie L. Russell, Lexington, NC
January 23, 2014
Praying for you JoEllen and family at this time of loss. Heaven welcomed Robert with the words "well done" when he arrived. What a special person he was. He truly modelled servant leadership and was a Barnabas (encourager) to all he met. I will never forget all the great times at Caraway and even here in Cape Town with Robert. Cling to the memories of a wonderful man. Memory is what God gives us that death cannot destroy. Blessings, prayers and love, Bonnie Doughtie Cape Town, South Africa
Bonnie Doughtie
January 22, 2014
My heart goes out to you at this time and in the days ahead.
Ann Seward
January 22, 2014
To JoEllen, Kerri, and Steve, from Corbin, Joann,John & Nelson Cooper: On behalf of our family, we wanted to send you our best wishes and support during this time of loss and transition for all of you. You remain in our thoughts and prayers.
January 22, 2014
Remembering a real mentor and praying our Lord's comfort for the family,
Duane Kuykendall
January 22, 2014
JoEllen, Kerri, Brad and family,
Love and strength to all of you. Robert was so very sweet. Thoughts and prayers go out to all of you.
Anne Evans
January 21, 2014
I'm so sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Butch Haskins
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