Family Matters

TE John Owen Butler, Stated Clerk of Mid-America Presbytery, wrote the following:
"I [recently attended] a memorial service for RE Joe B. Alexander, of Westminster PCA, Greenville, TX. Joe was my benefactor in seminary, allowing me to attend RTS tuition free. I was a member of his church in college and in seminary. Joe gave 20% of his income to the Lord's work during his lengthy retirement (ages 58-91), and did so without ever desiring that he would be known as the giver. Please pray for his widow, Virginia, who is afflicted with Alzheimer's; she is functioning, physically, but that is about all, according to the family.
"Joe retired from Exxon as a civil engineer in '63, moved to rural Arkansas, and was an RE-Licentiate Supply for 2 congregations near Snoball. He later moved to several places in Texas, helping conservative Presbyterians. In '76, he moved to Greenville because he heard that a group was starting a PCA church, and he wanted to help.
"He had scholarships at RTS and Covenant TS and College for students from Arkansas and Texas. He took a great interest in the students he supported. He regularly would call to check on me, and he and Virginia attended my graduation.
"In '81, I was director of evangelism at Westminster, and had the task of going door-to-door to deliver flyers about the church. I remember driving white knuckled around the neighborhoods, screwing up the courage to do the work. I talked to Joe about it, and that 76 year old man grabbed his windbreaker and said, 'Come on, I'll help you.' We walked about 5 miles that afternoon.
"The most impressive thing I remember about them is that every morning after the breakfast dishes were cleared away, they would pray for a couple of hours for literally thousands of individuals and churches in rotation. Once, when discussing prayer letters, he lamented that Covenant Seminary's prayer letters only mentioned the professors and staff, never the students. 'Seminaries exist for the training of ministers. We need to be praying for these boys!' I mentioned that to Paul Kooistra, who had been named President at Covenant Seminary, but had not yet left RTS's faculty. Apparently the message got through, for the first prayer letters after Paul's arrival predominately featured prayer requests for the students. Joe was quite tickled about the change.
"Psalm 92: 12-15 applies to his life: 12 The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 13 Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. 14 They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; 15 To shew that the LORD is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him."

From TE Don Clements comes the following:
"As Stated Clerk of New River Presbytery, I wanted to get word out to as many people as possible about Charlie McNutt's passing. In case you haven't heard yet, 'Preacher' McNutt reached his final victory in Jesus on December 17. He was in the hospital in Chestnut Mountain, GA, following surgery for colon cancer the previous Friday. On Tuesday, just after his daughter, Becky, and her husband, John Batusic, left for the day, he suffered a massive heart attack and died instantly. (My speculation is that God just didn't want Charlie to linger on and suffer with the cancer.)
"A memorial service was held at the Chestnut Mountain church on Wednesday evening, with Joe Morecraft presiding. Then on Friday the funeral was held at the South Ruffner Church in Charleston (one of the eight he had pastored in WV). With over 300 in attendance, including more than 25 ministers whose lives he had touched, sons-in-law John Batusic and Donald Wahlman shared testimonies from the family, rehearsing some of the stories many of you have heard over the years.
"A choir made up of folks who had sung in choirs in churches Charlie had pastored over the years sang 'It Is Well With My Soul.' The funeral sermon was preached by Johnny Hall, who also shared some wonderful stories about his relationship with Charlie over the years. His text was Galatians 6:14 and he called all of us assembled to be sure the only thing we boasted in was the cross of Jesus_as surely that was the heart of Charlie McNutt's life.
"As an aside to the ministers present_which I wanted as many others as possible to hear_was Johnny's reminder that with Charlie's passing, the PCA has lost a great prayer warrior. I can give personal testimony of how supportive he was to me during my years in New River Presbytery_especially through some tough times. Johnny called on us to step up to fill Charlie's shoes. The only problem is those shoes are far too big for any one of us_so I guess we all will have to do it together.
"The service concluded with the singing of Charlie's favorite hymn_'Victory in Jesus.' The family then took the body to Princeton, WV, where Craig Bailey led the internment service in a grace alongside Joan [Charlie's late wife]. The girls seem to be doing OK. If you know them personally, you might want to drop them a line. Call me if you need any more info."

The Rev. Mr. Harold Stigers, a retired minister living in Chattanooga, TN, passed away in October 1996. Born in 1917, Dr. Stigers was ordained in 1945 by Philadelphia Presbytery of the Bible Presbyterian Church. He earned a Ph.D. from Dropsie University in 1953. He was a lecturer at Faith Theological Seminary, Covenant Theological Seminary, and Washington University, and a visiting professor at Wheaton College. He also pastored the Bible Presbyterian Church in Columbus, OH. Among his published writings was A Commentary on Genesis and The Interphased Chronology of Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, & Hoshea. He and his wife had three daughters and a son, Timothy, who is a minister in Great Lakes Presbytery.

Joseph Newton Farlow, born July 1, 1918, Greensboro, NC, died on October 14, 1996. A graduate of North Carolina State University, he worked as an engineer for eight years. In 1955, he entered Union Theological Seminary (Virginia), and graduated in 1959. He served as a missionary evangelist in the Republic of China from 1958 until retirement. He is survived by his wife of thirty-six years, the former Mary Elizabeth Blake, and two sons and a daughter.

Mr. John ("J. B.") Wilson went home to be with the Lord in early January 1997. He was 72. A long-time elder at East Belmont Presbyterian Church, Belmont, NC, he had served in that capacity for close to 40 years. He is survived by his wife, Chris, and a son, John.

Mrs. Vivian ("Ronni") Rushbrook passed away in Modesto, CA, January 31, 1997. A former model, she had been employed by Pacific Telephone. Her husband, Bill, is the Disaster Response Director for Presbyterian Evangelistic Fellowship, and had held a similar post in the PCA. She leaves four children: Michael, Marika, Mason, and Mickey.

In a previous issue, we carried news of the homegoing of Todd Demeter, a ruling elder in Oklahoma. We are happy to report the recent marriage of his widow, Tobi, to a widower, Mr. Tim Stroud of Norman. Bride and groom each brings five children into this new union.