Monday, October 30, 2017

Angus McAllister Stewart: Sickness and death

Sickness and death

In 1913 another tragedy visited the Stewart home. Angus Stewart had an unlikely and seemingly insignificant accident. He stepped on a tack, which punctured into his foot. The puncture apparently and outwardly healed, but became inwardly infected. Blood poisoning set in and eventually doctors determined to amputate part of his leg to save the patient. All of this was to no avail. At 9 o’clock a.m. on Wednesday, September 13 “his body gave up the struggle and his great, noble soul leaped from its earthly tenement to meet its Creator.” His funeral was described as “possibly the largest gathering of people ever assembled in the Christian Church.”[i]

By the time the Texas Free Will Baptist Association met in October 1913, Angus McAllister Stewart had gone to his long sought home. “Rev. D. R. Jimerson being the oldest minister present assumed the Chair as Moderator on account of the death of the former Moderator…”[ii]

To the memory of the organizer and promoter of the Freewill Baptist
church in Texas:
                                    Inasmuch as our Heavenly Father in his wisdom has seen fit to
remove from our midst our Leader and Co-work, Rev. A. M. Stewart,
                                    And whereas, he was organizer of our church in Texas, and always
a promoter of anything for its interest and welfare, not only among people
of his own church, but always lending a hand to all Christianity,
                                    And whereas, another one of God’s Noblemen has gone, his presence
will be missed in our ranks, but the members of the Ministers’ Association
in the town where he lived, one after another, stood at the funeral and
expressed the keen sense of their loss, it is needless to say that his family is
heartbroken. Yet he is better off, far, than we, and soon those, who follow
his Christ, may enter the same joys.
                                    Therefore, be it resolved; first, that our association extend to the
family our sympathy and our prayers.
                                    Second, that we commend our church to his God and advise that
our people follow Him in the same earnest spirit, which our brother manifested.
                                    Third, that a copy of these resolutions be spread on our minutes and
a copy furnished the family.
                                    Done by order of the association in session, this 3rd day of October,
E. S. Jameson, Chairman Committee.

A. M. Stewart’s remains were laid to rest at the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Carthage, Panola County, Texas. Friends in Bryan, Texas described him as “a man of sound intellect, a forceful speaker, an energetic worker, and happiest when ministering to the wants of the sick and needy.”[iii] In a little over 60 years Angus McAllister Stewart became preacher, pastor, organizer, business man, educator, evangelist, and the “Founding Father” of the Free Will Baptist Church in Texas.

[i] “Rev. A. M. Stewart Passes Away,” The Panola Watchman. Vol. 41, No. 7, Wednesday, September 24, 1913, p. 8
[ii] Minutes of the Thirty-Sixth Annual Session of the Texas Free Will Baptist Association, October 3-5, 1913, p. 1
[iii] “Death of Rev. A. M. Stewart,” The Eagle, Wednesday, September 17, 1913, p. 5

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