Dr. Stephen Lee Hartwick, age 64, walked into the arms of his Savior March 8, 2021. He was born January 16, 1957 to Louis J. Hartwick and Wanda Varble in Carrollton, Illinois.
Steve graduated from Southwest Baptist University with majors in Religion and Psychology; earned his Masters of Religious Education from MidWestern Baptist Seminary, and his Doctorate of Family Ministry from Pillsbury College and Seminary.
Steve married Belinda Rayls, on June 10, 1978. He worked as the Executive Pastor of First Baptist Church for the past 23 ½ years. Steve loved his job. He often said that no day was the same. It brought him great joy to serve the people of the congregation, their families and the community. Steve will be remembered for his kindness, integrity, compassion, easy smile, hugs, encouragement, cheesy jokes, acts of service, attention to detail, and love of a balanced church budget.
Steve surrendered to the ministry as a teenager, later serving as a church planter with the Home Mission Board and in various positions within churches in North Dakota, Missouri, and Texas. Steve was actively involved with Baptist and Mission organizations on the local and state levels.
Steve was a homebody by nature, however because of his love for Belinda and because he was a good sport, he was willing to go with her to the symphony, an occasional ballet or opera (with English translations), stroll through numerous art and science/history museums, and travel outside of Texas. But Steve’s all-time favorite activities, for which he would willingly travel, was to watch and attend St. Louis Cardinal baseball and Kansas City Chiefs football games. He also grew to be a more than decent golfer and enjoyed golfing regularly with a friend or alone.
Steve is preceded in death by his father, Louis J. Hartwick. He is survived by his wife, Belinda of Corpus Christi; daughter, Caryn (Paul) Bell of Frisco, TX; Sons, Stephen (Melanie) Hartwick of Centerville, UT and Carl Jacob of Corpus Christi, TX; mother, Wanda Hartwick of Winter Haven, FL; sister, Cindy (Jim) Abney of Winter Haven, FL; along with two grandsons, Gabriel and David; numerous nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.
The Memorial Service will be held Saturday, March 20 at 11:00 am at First Baptist Church.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the South Texas Children’s Home in Corpus Christi, TX.
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