David Charles Stover passed away Tuesday, July 29, at Mission Hospital in Asheville. He served as a pastor in the Presbyterian Church from 1958 until his retirement in 2008 ministering to churches in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and North Carolina. He moved to Black Mountain in 2008 with his wife Susan Denne, also a pastor, where he was actively involved in political and community activities.
David Stover was born May 29, 1930 in rural West Virginia and spent his formative years in Holden and Milton, WV. Musically gifted, he and his brothers began singing on religious radio programs and competing in talent contests during his pre-teen years. Their success resulted in significant contributions to the family income, enabling their father to complete graduate work in education. Stover attended Marshall University where he majored in music and performed frequently as a vocal and instrumental musician. He maintained a life-long interest in jazz, as well as classical music. During the mid-50's he served in the US Army where he played in the band.
Stover was called to the ministry as he witnessed the social injustices of the late 50s and attended Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, VA. Upon graduation, he relocated to Dunedin, FL where he was Assistant Pastor at the First Presbyterian Church and later a new church development initiative. He became involved in the civil rights movement on a local level in the late 60s when accepted a call from Atlanta Presbytery to serve a struggling congregation in Atlanta. He served three pastorates in metropolitan Atlanta, all reeling from the consequences of racial transition. During his tenure in Atlanta, he continued to perform with numerous choral groups, including the Robert Shaw Chorale and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
He received his doctorate in 1978 from McCormick Theological Seminary where he concentrated his studies in process theology. He became known nationally for his exceptional abilities facilitating communication and reconciliation during emotionally-charged negotiations and his skills enabling entrenched organizations to manage conflict and broaden perspective when long-standing values were challenged.
He is survived by his wife, Rev. Susan Denne, and two children – Paige Stover Hague and David Charles Stover, as well as three step-children and six grandchildren.
Information courtesy of the Asheville Area Alternative Funeral & Cremation Services