Citadel Square Baptist pastor Arnold dies at 87

The Rev. A. Stuart Arnold, who spent a decade on live television, preaching from his pulpit at the Citadel Square Baptist Church, died Saturday. He was 87.

Arnold served as pastor of the church from 1978 to 1989 and became well-known throughout the region through the program that aired every Sunday on WCSC-TV.

Parishioner and friend Virginia Hamilton said the English-born Arnold was immediately accepted by the Lowcountry Southern Baptist community and beyond.

"He was a wonderful speaker but, of course, he still had his English accent," Hamilton said. "It was very difficult, but we learned to know and understand everything he had to say."

Mary Arnold said her husband loved what he did and was very much in demand as a speaker. "He was the most invited speaker of anyone in the denomination," she said.

Arnold's legacy goes beyond the TV show. He devoted much of his time to the church youth, started Bible studies across the United States and also had an early impact on the Baptist College of Charleston, now known as Charleston Southern University, said President Jairy Hunter Jr.

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"Dr. Arnold was one of the early visionaries and supporters of The Baptist College at Charleston," Hunter said in a statement. "During the past two decades I've been president of the University, he was actively involved in many ministries. I've known him as a minister and as a personal friend. I have high regard for him and his wife Mary. Rev. Arnold was a Baptist leader in the U.S. and around the world."

Arnold began his preaching career in 1944. He served as pastor for several churches until he accepted a job in 1968 as a consultant of the Sunday School Department in Nashville. He became pastor of Citadel Square in 1978.

He enjoyed making furniture and painting watercolors. Hamilton said he made wooden candlesticks for the pews that are still used today. "He was a friend first of all to everyone and he is going to be missed," she said.

Mary Arnold said her husband was a wonderful husband and father to their two children, Julia Arnold Moore and Paul Stuart Arnold.

A service for Arnold will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Citadel Square Baptist Church, 328 Meeting St.

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