The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


An incredible voice

Retired music teacher makes lessons sing

On the third Sunday of each month, Ruth Stewart reads the lessons at Salem Lutheran Church, Houston. Reads them “with a delivery so full of understanding, so deep that it just catches the heart,” said Margaret Flowers, the congregation’s music director.

Ruth Stewart<BR><BR>
Ruth Stewart

For the 91-year-old retired opera singer and music professor, reading is service. Now Stewart’s legendary Bible reading of nearly 15 years is helping fund a renovation of Salem’s 50-year-old sanctuary through income from Ruth Stewart: Sustained by Faith, a CD released this month of passages from Genesis to Revelation. “I’m not just reading words, I’m telling a story,” she said. “There are marvelous, marvelous stories in the Bible.”

Stewart always has been an achiever. She was raised in segregated Jacksonville, Fla., in a family of musicians. “My father refused to allow us to ride the streetcar,” she said. “He told us, ‘I will either drive you or you will walk,’ so we didn’t have to bear the brunt of segregation—but it was there.”

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