News and Views

Rev. Charles Stewart

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Rev. Charles Stewart, 97, a retired Elder, died Jan 1, 2019. He was the longest-serving ordained pastor in the Baltimore-Washington Conference. He was first ordained a Deacon in 1944.  A Service of Death and Resurrection was held Jan. 19 at 2 p.m. at Asbury Village in Gaithersburg.

Charles W. Stewart was born Oct. 26, 1921. He claimed his call to ministry came at age 16 at a summer church camp. He graduated from the Lindsly School in Wheeling, W. Va., where both his parents taught. In 1943, he graduated from Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio, and received his Bachelor of Divinity degree from Drew School of Theology in Madison, N.J. He went on for a doctorate at Union Theological Seminary in New York.

While at Union, he met his future wife, Alma Rowe, on a New York City street corner near the campus. They married in 1948.

Following their marriage, the Stewarts’ first posting was to Oceanside, Long Island, for a year. From 1949 to 1952, he worked with the Wesley Foundation in Columbus, Ohio, where their first son was born. He was then appointed to the Methodist Church in Mystic, Conn., 1952-1955. During this time, Stewart commuted to Boston for his Ph.D. in 1955. His next appointment was to Denver where he taught Pastoral Care at Iliff School of Theology, 1956-62. His first book, “The Minister as a Marriage Counselor,” was published in 1961.

In 1963, he spent a sabbatical year at the Menninger Foundation in Topeka, Kansas. From there the family moved to Birmingham, Mich., where he held a faculty position at the new Institute of Advanced Pastoral Studies at the Cranbrook Institute from 1963 to 1966.

Their last move was to Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., where he taught Pastoral Care and Counseling and Psychology of Religion, and eventually served as the Howard Chandler Robbins Professor of Pastoral Care from 1966 to 1987. In 1985, he enjoyed a sabbatical year at Princeton Theological Seminary.

“He brought to his teaching and his students a thoughtful and kind presence as one who had one foot in pastoral ministry and the other in the emerging research in his field,” said a statement from the Wesley Seminary president’s office.

During his career, Stewart wrote seven books and numerous papers and articles. He served on several conference committees, advised and created counseling centers and worked with the Stephen's Ministry in the D.C. area.

During retirement, the Stewarts continued to expand on their traveling experiences with family, friends and colleagues, traveling throughout the States, Europe, Israel, Australia, New Zealand and sailing around the Caribbean. They moved to Asbury Retirement Community in 2002, when Asbury installed a pool, his one requirement.

Survivors include his beloved wife of 70 years; his children: Louise, Peter and Heather; seven grandchildren; and recently a great-granddaughter.

Condolences may be sent to Alma Stewart, 333 Russell Ave., #121, Gaithersburg, MD 20877. 

Donations may be made in Dr. Charles W. Stewart’s memory to Wesley Theological Seminary Scholarship Fund, T-212, 4500 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20016-5692.