Burnt Store Presbyterian Church welcomed the Rev. Timothy and Karin Stewart back to the church he served for 30 years prior to his retirement in June of this year. At the time of his official retirement the church had suspended in-person worship due to COVID-19 cautions. On Oct. 25, having resumed in-person activities, the church was eager to invite Pastor Tim back for one final worship service from the pulpit he filled for decades.
That afternoon a tribute celebration featured speakers who showered him with appreciation and stories of their time together. Recognizing Pastor Tim’s 30 years of ministry, the congregation elected him Pastor Emeritus and renamed the church’s fellowship hall as Stewart Hall.
A life-long race car enthusiast, Stewart’s retirement plans have him looking forward to serving as chaplain with the two sports car road racing series in the USA: the International Motorsports Association, promoter of the Daytona 24-hour race and the Sebring 12-hour race, and the Stephane Ratel Organisation, sanctioning body for the GT World Challenge America series.
Born in Bristol, Virginia, he obtained his bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies at Belhaven College, in Jackson, Mississippi, pursued his theological education attending Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, in Deerfield, Illinois, obtained his MDiv at Columbia Theological Seminary, in Decatur, Georgia, and earned his doctorate at Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies, in Orange Park.
Stewart was ordained as Minister of the Word and Sacrament and began his ministry as associate pastor at Hope Presbyterian Church, in Winter Haven in 1986. Four years later, he was called to Burnt Store Presbyterian Church as pastor/head of staff.
Stewart is optimistic about the church’s future. A 100-unit assisted living/memory care facility is scheduled to open on campus in 2021, the naming of an interim pastor, Rev. Robert Canby (RC) Smith, who will lead the church through this time of transition and visioning to honor the past and plan for ministry in the future.
Pastor Tim and his wife Karin plan to remain in the area and look forward to enjoying time with their daughter, Kristen, and family in Colorado and their son, Dana and wife in North Carolina.
For more information, contact the church office at 941-639-0001 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.