STEWART, Rev. Donald S., 85, of Mechanicsville, peacefully passed away and went to his heavenly home Friday, December 27, 2019. He was the son of the late Jewell M. and Newell James Stewart Sr. He is survived by his devoted wife of 58 years, Ruth Lassiter Stewart; three loving children, Cynthia Culley (Tom), Jonathan Stewart (Diane) and Katherine Knabenshue (Bob); eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He is also survived by two siblings, Jim Stewart and Shirley Horton. Don was born in Taliaferro County, Ga., on December 26, 1934. He graduated from Wadley High School as co-valedictorian in 1952. He graduated from Mercer University in 1956. He earned his Master of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C. in 1960. Don met Ruth, a fellow seminary student, and they were married in 1961. Don’s greatest honor and privilege was serving the Lord and ministering to people. While in college in 1954, he was ordained and served as pastor in Georgia. He was pastor of churches in North Carolina and Virginia from 1960 to 2007. Don served as pastor at Venable Baptist when they merged with West Hill Baptist and became Mechanicsville Baptist Church. Don was privileged to serve there for 20 years. He also served on the Board of Trustees for Averett University and the Expansion Committee for Chowan College. Don retired in 1997 and was installed as Pastor Emeritus by the Mechanicsville Church in 1998. After retirement, he was Pastor at Mattaponi Indian Baptist Church until age 74. Don’s love for people was evidenced by his fervent ministry which extended far beyond his congregation. Don cried with the hurting and celebrated with them in their joy. He loved meeting and greeting people wherever he went. Even in the midst of dementia, he demonstrated his love for people by praying with them and invoking God’s blessings. The family is grateful for the prayers and words of comfort from many friends and church members as well as the dedicated nursing staff and the hospice team at The Hermitage Richmond. The family received friends from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, January 2, 2020, at the Mechanicsville Chapel of the Bennett Funeral Home, 8014 Lee-Davis Rd. A Celebration of Life was held 11 a.m. Friday, January 3, 2020, at Mechanicsville Baptist, 8016 Atlee Rd., Mechanicsville, Va. 23111. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to MISSIONS at Mechanicsville Baptist Church.

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