NEW ORLEANS (BP) – Don Stewart, a retired, long-time New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary professor and administrator, died Aug. 10 in Hattiesburg, Miss. He was 85.
For a quarter century, Stewart served in multiple capacities at NOBTS until his retirement in July 2003. Stewart returned to his alma mater in 1978 to serve as executive vice president under Landrum P. Leavell II. Later he would lead the seminary’s doctor of ministry program and the extension center system. Stewart served as professor of New Testament and Greek throughout his tenure at NOBTS and from 1997 to 2003, he returned to the classroom full time.
“Teaching is the thing I’ve enjoyed most of all that I’ve done,” Stewart said during a 2003 interview about his retirement. “God called me to minister to people and to teach people, not to teach subjects. I’ve always tried to do that and it’s been very gratifying.”
The professor known for bringing a pastoral approach to the study of New Testament and Greek was elected professor emeritus shortly after his retirement. Ministry was never confined to the classroom for Stewart, who often gave pastoral encouragement to the staff members and students he met in the halls. He continued to encourage the seminary community during his frequent trips to campus long after his retirement.
Throughout his time at NOBTS and in his retirement years, Stewart served as an interim pastor at well over 30 churches in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi.
A native of Gulfport, Miss., Stewart earned his undergraduate degree at William Carey University in Hattiesburg, Miss., and two degrees from NOBTS, including a doctor of theology degree in New Testament and Greek.
Stewart served at William Carey, his undergraduate alma mater, for 15 years before his long tenure at NOBTS. At William Carey, he was professor of New Testament and Greek and provided academic leadership as the chairman of the department of religion and philosophy.
Stewart is survived by his wife Mona D. Stewart; his children, Jimmy M. Stewart (Janice) of Gulfport, Miss., Sandra Sparrow (Gary) of Colorado Springs, Colo.; and Donna Mansfield (Carey) of Covington, La; six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
The funeral service for Stewart will be Friday (Aug. 13) at Hardy Street Baptist Church in Hattiesburg, Miss. Visitation will start at 10 a.m.; the service will follow at 11:30 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations to the Don H. and Mona D. Stewart scholarships at William Carey University, 710 Parkway Dr., Hattiesburg, MS 39401 (http://www.wmcarey.edu) or New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, 3939 Gentilly Blvd., New Orleans, LA 70126 (https://www.nobts.edu).
This article was written by Gary Myers. It was published on baptistpress.com.