The oldest of five children, Nelda Stuart was born in Texas. Her parents were farmers who decided to leave Nelda's home state after experiencing crop failure during the depression, so they moved to a walnut ranch in Ventura, California.
Nelda gave her heart to Jesus when she was young. She met Art Beem through youth group activities. They were married and were blessed with four children. Once their kids were in school, Nelda brushed up on business skills at Ventura College and went to work for Ventura Schools, eventually becoming the Principal's Secretary at Anacapa Junior High. Following retirement, she and Art traveled the country. Soon after they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, Art was diagnosed with cancer and lived a little over three more years. Nelda says, "It wasn't easy to say good bye, but God is faithful, and many friends and family were so supportive." After three years, Nelda married Reese Stuart, a long-time friend and Ventura Missionary Church member who had also become widowed. They were blessed with sever great years together.
Nelda has belonged to the same small group at Ventura Missionary since the 1970's. She says that being a part of this community has been like having a second family. She has also served as a Deaconess, participated in Women's Bible Studies, and taught children's Sunday School. She even taught a quilting class to young women in the church! Now 92 years old, Nelda still serves on the Prayer Team.
Talking about today's culture, Nelda describes the peer pressure to be politically correct. As followers of Christ, she says, "Sometimes we can't be supportive of certain behavior, but we need to be cordial and loving, because God is for people. He gave the life of His Son for them." She believes it is very important to live by example and has sought to do so.
On March 4, 2020, we will be honoring those in our church family, like Nelda, who are 90+ years old, at a Celebration of Life Luncheon. Cost is $10. Honorees and their spouses/caregivers are free. Sign-up HERE.