NASHVILLE – Retired United Methodist Bishop R. Marvin Stuart, 93, who advocated full clergy rights for women in the denomination, died on Nov 11, 2003 at his Palo Alto, California, retirement home. He is survived by his son, Robert Lee Stuart of San Francisco.
A memorial service was held on Jan 17 at First United Methodist Church in Palo Alto.
Born in Paullina, Iowa, he was ordained in 1934 and elected bishop in 1964. He served as President of the Council of Bishops in 1978. His election to bishop highlighted a ministerial career that included 22 years as Pastor of First United Methodist Church, Palo Alto, as well as service at other churches in the San Francisco Bay area. He served 16 years as Bishop in Denver and San Francisco.
At the 1956 General Conference, he was the Chairman of the legislative body for the Committee on Ministry and presented the report for the church to approve full clergy rights for women. As a result, the assembly granted clergywomen full rights in the United Methodist Church that year. Bishop Stuart served as a General Conference delegate from 1952 to 1964.
He received an associate degree from Taylor University in Indiana and later received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sacred theology from Boston School of Theology. He also received an honorary doctorate from Taylor University.
Bishop Stuart’s wife, Mary Ella Stuart, died in 2001. – United Methodist News Service.