Dr. C. Stanley Peters, 91, passed away Monday morning, June 9, 2014, at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne, Ind. The funeral was held on Thursday morning, June 10, at College Park UB church in Huntington, Ind.
Stan, as everyone knew him, was a longtime member of College Park UB church in Huntington, Ind. Beginning in September 1959, Dr. Peters served 22 years in the United Brethren national office overseeing our various publications. He concluded his service there in December 1981.
Stan is survived by his wife, Lola Lee. Just three days before his death, they celebrated 69 years of marriage. Also surviving are two daughters and a son, and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Stan Peters grew up as a UB preacher’s kid. His father, J. Clair Peters, was managing a furniture plant in Hagerstown, Md., but resigned that position in 1926 to prepare for the ministry. He bundled up the family—wife and three children, Stan being the oldest—and moved to Indiana that year to attend Huntington College. Eighteen years later, Stan himself headed off to Huntington College, graduating in 1944 with majors in math and science. He then taught junior high and high school for two years.
In June 1945, Stan married Lola Lee Stites, whom he had met at college. Later that summer, Stan received his quarterly conference license to preach from the North Avenue UB church in Baltimore, Md. He received a Master of Divinity degree from Huntington College’s seminary in 1949, and was ordained in 1950 by Bishop A.M. Johnson. In 1974, Huntington College awarded him an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree.
In 1948, while still a seminary student, Stan began three years as pastor of Third Street UB church in Fort Wayne, Ind. (now it’s called Anchor Community Church). The congregation, which had been meeting in a basement, erected its present sanctuary during that time. Next, he served the St. Paul-Winchester circuit of Monroe, Ind., 1951-53, and then spent a year on the Berne circuit of Monroe and Geneva.
In 1954, Stan and Lola Lee began an exciting five years starting a new church in Kettering, Ohio. A developer sold the conference a corner lot–just a corn field back then. Construction began on the parsonage and chapel. Stan, Lola Lee, and young daughter Renee lived with members of the Prescott Avenue UB church in Dayton for four months, using the upstairs and the basement, with their hosts in between. When the new pastor’s quarters were ready, the Peters’s furniture, which was in storage at the conference camp, was hauled to Kettering in a farm wagon.
Stan visited hundreds of homes in the area, forming a prospect list of over 200 names on whom he concentrated. The congregation grew steadily. In 1959, a Christian education unit was completed under Stan’s leadership.
After 10 years in the pastorate, Stan Peters accepted the editorship of the United Brethren publishing house in 1959. He followed Dr. George Weaver, who had decided to return to the pastorate (and would become bishop 10 years later).
Over the years, Stan had accumulated a variety of experience in many aspects of the printing business. While in high school, he worked for a local newspaper, gaining experience in nearly every aspect of the operation. He ran his own small printshop during his senior year of high school, using a small letterpress in the upper story of a bank back of their property to crank out letterhead, envelopes, calling cards, and other printing jobs. As a college student, he worked in the college printshop and later in the denominational printshop. He even worked as a pressman in Berne, Ind., while in the pastorate. So he had been around the business.
As editor, Peters wrote, edited, and designed the various publications, including the United Brethren magazine and the Sunday school materials for adults and youth. He also worked on special publications, such as the UB Discipline and the UB hymnal. He traveled throughout the US and Ontario promoting the magazine and Sunday school literature, and helped oversee construction of the new UB headquarters building in 1976.
Stan served the church with dedication and humility. He oversaw publication of 491 issues of the United Brethren magazine. He wrote the following as part of his final editorial in the December 1981 edition of the magazine.
“When God directed our path from the pastorate (the ministry of the spoken word) to editor (the ministry of the written word), I could not have surmised that God would have us serve in this capacity for nearly a quarter of a century…..Through the years I have been happy to serve the church in this capacity and sought to make the magazine an inspiring, informative, helpful, and unifying force in the denomination….”