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Christians in U.S., Brazil mourn death of former missionary Ted Stewart

Ted Stewart (Photo via obits.dignitymemorial.com)

Ted Stewart, a member of a pioneering mission team to Brazil and a former instructor at Sunset International Bible Institute in Lubbock, Texas, died Feb. 22, according to the institute’s alumni page. He was 77.
Visitation is 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, at Resthaven Funeral Home in Lubbock. Funeral services are from 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Sunset Church of Christ in Lubbock.
During Sunset’s Feb. 23 chapel service, Ron Bontrager lauded Stewart as “a man dearly loved by faculty, our alumni, missionaries (and) Brazilian Christians.”
“There are very few people in Brazil who are Christians today that could not in some way trace their spiritual birth back to Ted and his work there,” said Bontrager, dean of Sunset’s preaching school. “And he was a great encourager of missions as well.”
Bontrager told The Christian Chronicle that Stewart encouraged him to go into the mission field and visited him while Bontrager and his family worked in Salvador, Brazil.
Stewart was instrumental in the decision that led the 31-member team from the U.S. to Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 1961. Another member of that team, Howard Norton, spoke about Stewart’s role in a 2011 Dialogue with The Christian Chronicle.

Our team chose three possible places of great importance: New York, Hong Kong and South America. I personally wanted to go to Hong Kong. We voted, and South America won. Continued research by teammates Ted Stewart and Ellis Long convinced us that the key country in South America was Brazil, and the leading industrial, middle-class city was Sao Paulo.

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Members of the 1961 mission team to Sao Paulo, Brazil (Photo provided by Abilene Christian University)


  • Feedback
    The funeral is scheduled for 1 pm Saturday, February 25, at Sunset Church of Christ.
    Jeff Rader
    February, 23 2012

    Thanks Jeff. I’ve added the visitation and funeral times to the post.
    Erik Tryggestad
    February, 23 2012

    Deepest regards to any and all family members and associates who worked or lived with Ted Stewart. Any missionary in the field does not generally consider dying in the field, but it’s one thought I usually implant in the minds of each new one who considers going, simply because it is a fact. However, all saints are on foreign soil no matter where we are or live. Our destination is heavenward bound, so the fact that Ted made it before us is a great and wonderful thing for him. Our Lord be praised, for His mercies endure forever! Thank you for sharing in the celebration of life for this very giving selfless worker of the King of Kings! May there be peace among the brethren, joy in their hearts, and may the work of Christ continue flourihing in Brazil.
    Anna Marie
    February, 24 2012

    We stayed with the Stewarts upon or initial arrival in Sao Paul. What a great, positive family. Ted inspired and I never knew him to be anything but an encourager.
    Thank you God for Ted being a part of the fabric of my journey.
    Tom Douglas
    February, 24 2012

    I am saddened at Ted’s death though I know that better things are in store for him than this earth allows. My sympathy goes to his family. Ted and I were in Abilene Christian together back in the mid-1950s.
    James Haney
    February, 24 2012

    I’m just now reading the Chronicle. My condolences to the family.
    I audited Ted Stewart’s New Testament Greek I and II classes in ’96 and still keep up with what I learned.
    Lisa Cox
    March, 5 2012

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