Rev. Wayland Stewart has worked for Chattanooga Funeral Home for 20 years. He has a dual role serving as night visitation director and conducting funerals for families without a minister.
Rev. Stewart is also pastor of the Shiloh Community Church in Higdon, Al. The pastor knows about tragedy as he lost his church to tornados in 2011 and 2020, both occurred during the Easter season. Rev. Stewart says, “God gave his congregation something better after each of the storms.” Rev.
Stewart said in the middle of the mess his church family found hope. Rev. Stewart told WRCB TV at the time, “Our church sign still stands, Jesus is Alive. He said preparing his Easter message of the Resurrection takes on new meaning when he’s reminded of what happened to his congregation, not once but twice. One of the minister’s favorite hymns is "He Lives."
Rev. Stewart said he took the funeral home job because of his desire to help families. He also conducts funerals for families who may not have a minister for one reason or the other. He said preparing a funeral message can be challenge because of family circumstances. He said there is so much hurting but a few positive words might offer comfort to those grieving. He said it’s difficult to experience the loss of a love one especially a child. The pastor said Psalm 23 is probably requested more than any other scripture and does provides great comfort. Rev. Stewart said being a pastor and working at the funeral home go hand in hand; they are both a ministry with only a few different circumstances.
Chattanooga Funeral Home Vice President Stephen Pike called Rev. Stewart a man of faith. Mr. Pike said, “Bro. Wayland has a special God given gift to talk with a grieving family and offer them peace and hope, he’s a real man of God and credit to our team.”