Stone family

The Stone family: Sam and Kathleen Stone, Patrick and Savannah Garcia with their children, JR,  Bauer and Vera, Dave and Beth Stone and Sadie and Aaron Joss.

Beth Stone

Married to Dave for 33 years

Few see the sweetest things about Dave.

What most attracted me to him was his personality and love for people. That hasn’t changed.

When hard things happened—my mom and dad died, his mom died, our son-in-law was diagnosed with cancer—Dave encouraged us that God is still good and faithful. He leads us in being totally dependent on the Lord.

We have different gifts. I’m the “host;” Dave is the entertainment. It’s been remarkable to serve together at Southeast.

We knew God was working when Dave was sick last year and couldn’t preach for eight weeks. Kyle stepped in seamlessly, and it encouraged us that the work will go on. We know the church is in good hands.

It’s hard to think of leaving. This has been our life for 30 years. Our kids have been through every program available. We love the church, but we know this is the right time to pass the baton to the Idlemans.

We pray that everyone will cover Kyle and DesiRae and their family in prayer, that they will support and encourage them.

Savannah Stone Garcia

First daughter of Dave and Beth Stone, married to Patrick Garcia, lead pastor of The Hills Church

I still love airports and travel because of memories with my dad connected to those two things. He would speak at conferences and services, full of powerful stories and the Gospel message. Those are words I am grateful to have grown up hearing weekly, even daily, in my home and from the pulpit.

But it was the busy traveling moments or watching him interact with people around the world that made those Gospel words take on a deeper meaning. It was no longer a reading of Scripture or sweet story to close a sermon, but it was my dad, a man living it out as his young daughter was watching. A man who lives out the calling Christ has given to all of us as believers.

I love seeing my dad with my kids. He is just as intentional with his grandkids as he was with us about sharing Bible stories at bedtime and including them in acts of kindness. (My son) JR is so proud to tell me the names of the people they encouraged at the bank and the post office.

Dave Stone does not compartmentalize his faith. This is the main reason why all three of us pastors’ kids have a real faith and deep love for the church. His sermons are crafted with Bible study and prayer. He isn’t perfect, and there were times he came to us asking for forgiveness, but isn’t that what every daughter wants? A dad whose love is so great that even in his imperfect moments, he pointed me back to Christ and my even greater need for Him.

Sadie Stone Joss

Second Stone daughter, married to Aaron Joss, chemical engineer

We have great memories of having restaurant staff to our house for game night or taking KFC to some homeless folks who became friends. Another one of my favorite things my dad did was take each of us with him out of town wherever he would be speaking. We always had a blast along the way as we met a lot of new people. No matter what we were doing, he always made things more fun.

 I’m thankful that he included us in his ministry.

Even though he always had a busy schedule and a lot of responsibilities, we never felt second rate to his work/ministry. Many times he rearranged his schedule to be at a special event cheering us on.

Another favorite memory is playing hide-n-seek on the fifth floor (of the Blankenbaker Campus) every Christmas. We brought our gifts to Dad’s office and played there. It was great family time.

Sam Stone

Son of Dave and Beth Stone and newly married to Kathleen

Everything my dad did impacted the way I live. He taught me more than he knows he did.

I saw extreme generosity growing up.

No one is better at loving people—not just from the pulpit. He loved people so well that it sometimes got on my nerves. When I was playing baseball as a freshman in high school, after a tough game, he’d ask if we could go see a friend going through a rough time. He’d stop and get dinner for him on the way. That’s my dad.

When we’d go somewhere for dinner, people would come up to our table to talk. He loved that.

It might seem he has a photographic memory, but he works at remembering names. He puts names and needs in his phone, then studies it at night. He practices because it’s important to him.