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A Grateful Tribute for Dr. Stewart Custer

GREENVILLE, S.C. (December 21, 2017) — Longtime Bob Jones University and BJU Seminary professor Dr. Stewart Custer went home to be with the Lord last night. BJU President Steve Pettit wrote the following tribute regarding Dr. Custer’s life and ministry:

“As I was getting ready to go to bed last night, my wife read the Facebook post concerning the passing of Dr. Stewart Custer into glory. Immediately my heart was lifted up with thanksgiving for the life of this most unusual and gifted professor and pastor.

I was privileged to sit under Dr. Custer’s tutelage while a student in the BJU Seminary from 1978-1980. His reputation among the seminarians was notable. He was deeply respected for his expansive knowledge and humble spirit. This is why my first class with him was so unique. During my second year of seminary, I had a free elective class to take. I chose a class entitled “The Evangelist and his Evangelism” taught by Dr. Custer. The initial class met in a small conference room in the Alumni Building. Dr. Custer gathered a handful of us together and humbly acknowledged that he was assigned to teach a class on a subject that was not his expertise.  Therefore, he stated that there would be no class lectures. Our assignment was to simply turn in a paper every week on the various aspects of the life and ministry of an evangelist. As I recall, I wrote around twelve papers that semester. Little did I know at the time that this work would be the foundation for my life’s ministry of nearly 30 years as an evangelist.

Dr. Custer’s signature class was Methods of Bible Exposition I and II. During the semester, the students would turn in an expository sermon weekly from an assigned biblical passage. I chose to take MBE I and II in back-to-back summer school sessions for the last required classes of my degree. The assignment was to write three expository sermons a week for each monthly session. It was a grueling summer. During my final session in the month of July, I not only took MBE II but I also took The Book of The Revelation taught by Dr. Custer. The class requirements for The Revelation were to write two expository sermons per week. Included with the MBE II requirements, I was writing five expository sermons a week for the next month. That summer I learned from Dr. Custer lessons on how to properly expound God’s Word that have stayed with me for the last 37 years of ministry.

Last year we began the Stewart Custer Lecture Series in the BJU Seminary out of a recognition and respect for Dr. Custer’s profound legacy as a godly professor, author, and pastor.

As a professor, he leaves behind a legacy of students he taught for 47 years (1955-2002) who have been faithfully preaching the Gospel throughout the world. As an author, he leaves behind a legacy of 15 books including commentaries on Matthew, John, Acts, Romans, Ephesians, and Revelation. As a pastor, he leaves behind the Trinity Bible Church of Greer, South Carolina, where he shepherded and loved this flock of believers for 29 years.

Dr. Custer is now in the presence of the One whom He deeply loved and proclaimed. His work on earth is finished but His ministry continues in the hearts of those he influenced. I am gratefully one of them.

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