In Memoriam – Herbert Stout
2 December 1927-10 January 2018
A Tribute by Jimmy Martin
A dear friend of mine and many others in the IBC family has joined the “cloud of witnesses” who set an example of faith for many, and who now cheer us on as we live and serve Christ our Lord. Herbert Stout died on 10 January after spending several months in hospice care in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Herbert and his identical twin brother, Herman, first came to Germany as U.S. military members just after World War 2. While in Wiesbaden, Germany, they joined other Christian soldiers who ministered to German children, many left homeless after the war. The Stout brothers were reassigned, but both felt a call from the Lord to return to Germany one day to plant English-language churches. Herman returned in 1957 and Herbert in 1958, along with their families to start churches in Wiesbaden and Frankfurt. These two churches cooperated in starting 30 new churches and missions in the next 6 years. The Stout brothers described this work: “God led all the way, and He blessed beyond the wildest dreams that the Stouts ever had.” These churches were the genesis of the IBC.
I met Herbert when he was in his 80s, still serving the Lord along with Mary, his wife. Even in his late 80s, he was leading Bible studies in the nursing care facility where he and Mary lived. The Stouts raised children who continue to love and serve the Lord.
It is often not until something or someone is gone that we come to truly appreciate their legacy. Although we know that Herbert is with the Lord and the community of saints that are cheering us on as we continue this “pilgrim journey” on earth, we also feel deeply Herbert’s absence among us. Separation is the pain of love. We grieve; we mourn; we cry. But we do so with confidence, with hope. Herbert is with the Lord. And we who have placed our trust in Christ know we will join Herbert one day.
We who serve in IBC churches stand on the shoulders of Herbert and Herman, the churches they began, and other pioneers who preached and taught and served and shared — many faces who lived out their faith in many places over the years. Their vision to see English-language disciple-making churches planted and flourishing continues to be our vision.
Herbert’s legacy continues in us. We are together in a Gospel partnership, and that partnership, by God’s grace and predetermined plan, will continue until the Lord returns.