Rev Robert

Hamilton County

Rev. Robert Calvin Stitts, founding and long-time pastor at Bayside Baptist Church in Harrison, died of Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML) on Wednesday, May 22, 2013, at the Chattanooga Hospice Center. He was seventy-five.A deep, abiding faith marked his passing. Just as Mr. Stitts trusted God with his life, he trusted God with his death.Mr. Stitts was born Aug. 16, 1937, in Cincinnati, Ohio, to Curtis and Lorena Sartoris Stitts. He received a diploma from Withrow High School in Cincinnati in 1955. He attended Georgetown College in Georgetown, Ky., where he played on the tennis team; he graduated in 1959 with a degree in sales and marketing. Drafted into the U.S. Army in 1959, Mr. Stitts served two years in Germany. Upon his honorable discharge, he worked as a salesman with the Endicott-Johnson Shoe Co.Accepting a call to pastoral ministry, Mr. Stitts enrolled at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., earning the M.Div degree in 1967. While a seminarian, he was a youth minister at First Baptist Church of Danville, Ky. On April 3, 1965, he married Lillian Acree of Dalton, Ga. Three children followed. Mr. Stitts first pastorate was at First Baptist Church of Cleves, Ohio, between 1965 and 1968. In 1968, Mr. Stitts became the senior pastor of East Chattanooga Baptist Church.Bayside Baptist Chapel, a mission of East Chattanooga Baptist Church, held its first service, with Mr. Stitts preaching, on Jan. 23, 1972. On June 17, 1973, Bayside Baptist Church was constituted with 308 charter members. For the next 31 years, until his retirement in 2004, Mr. Stitts was the senior pastor. The church, as did he, "walked by faith, not by sight." After retiring from full-time ministry in 2004, Mr. Stitts was interim pastor at Lookout Valley Baptist Church and Hixson First Baptist Church.Mr. Stitts ministry and family is his legacy. As a pastor, Mr. Stitts humbly sought to follow the Lord Jesus Christ, love his neighbors, and work for the reconciliation of the world. He was hospitable, loved what was good, was trustworthy and encouraging-the Biblical attributes of a godly pastor. As a husband and father, he was loving, patient, and loyal. And he fulfilled the highest duty of a parent by delivering his children into adulthood whole.Survivors include his wife of 48 years, Lillian, of Ooltewah; three children, Adrian Calvin Stitts, of Chattanooga, Lorena Stitts (Richard) Glenn, of Lancaster, Pa., and Eric Charles (Amy) Stitts, of Ooltewah; eight grandchildren, Caroline and Ross Stitts of Chattanooga, Ryan and Andrew Glenn of Lancaster, and John Robert, Emily, Mary Beth, and Matthew Stitts, of Ooltewah; and two siblings, Maxel L. (Velma) Stitts, of Dallas, and Marilyn J. (Robert) Haskell, of Toronto. Mr. Stitts is reunited in death with his parents.A Celebration of Life service will be held on Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 6 p.m. at Bayside Baptist Church with Rev. Eric Stitts officiating. Burial will be held on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at Chattanooga National Cemetery.The family will receive friends on Friday, May 24, 2013 between 4 and 8 p.m.; Saturday, May 25, 2013, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.; and on Sunday, May 26, between 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. at Bayside Baptist Church at 6100 Highway 58 North, Harrison, TN 37341.Active pallbearers will be members of the Bayside Baptist Church Ministerial Staff. Honorary Pallbearers will be all ministers in attendance at the service.In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Bayside Mission Partnership or the Bayside Building Fund, both of Bayside Baptist Church, 6100 Highway 58, Harrsion, TN 37341.Please share your thoughts and memories at www.ChattanoogaValleyViewChapel.com.Arrangements are by the Chattanooga Funeral Home Crematory & Florist, Valley View Chapel, 7414 Old Lee Highway, Chattanooga, TN 37421.

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