Arthur McBride, Sr.
Arthur McBride, Sr. was born in Austin County. After military service in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he began residing in Washington County and the Burton Community, while working at Green Grain Feed & Seed Company in Brenham. He was responsible for delivering products to groceries, feed stores, and cattle ranches in surrounding cities and counties. He retired from Green Grain in 1996, after 44 years of service with the company.
Throughout his life McBride was known as a quiet man with a humble spirit who loved people. He believed that actions speak louder than words, and his work ethic and relationship with people demonstrated that every day. He was honest in his dealings with others. He was respectful, even when others did not reciprocate. He was professional in demeanor, as a company representative and as an individual. These are attributes so dearly needed in today’s world of self-centeredness.
To ensure that his children understood those attributes, he would occasionally take them to work with him, be it at Green Grain, picking cotton, or harvesting pecans. There they had the opportunity to observe his skillful demonstration of those positive character traits. Other children and young adults also came to witness his performance, and how it endeared others to him, and thus they too imbued such qualities.
McBride displayed these same qualities in his belief and faith in God. He recognized that his success in raising a family was attributable to God’s love and blessings, and not his own doing. He quietly expressed those sentiments to his family and friends throughout his lifetime. In honor of Arthur McBride Sr the award was presented to his family.
Claudette Stewart is a minister of God who has actively participated in various ministries (jail, nursing home, fellowship, food, transportation) in Washington County for most of the 40 years she has been here. Ministering is a vocation she thoroughly enjoys, not only because she is able to bring some level of comfort to those in need of special assistance, but also because she receives comfort in being a servant of God.
As for her jail ministry, she visits inmates at least two times each week. On many of these occasions, she partners with a male minister who ministers to the needs of male inmates, while she ministers to the needs of female inmates.
Regardless of the age or gender of the inmate, she delivers the Word from God (for security reasons, she can only use Bibles provided by jail staff). Many inmates are receptive, and not just because they are locked up and are looking for physical freedom; they seek spiritual freedom as well.
To Stewart, the nursing home ministry is just as rewarding. The residents in these facilities anxiously await engaging her in biblical discussions, as well as discussing more personal aspects of their lives. When she makes return visits to the facilities, especially after having missed a scheduled visit (due to unforeseen circumstances), the residents immediately let her know that her presence was missed.
She is also active in other ministerial aspects, including donating toiletries to those in need, driving citizens to medical appointments, delivering groceries, picking up medicine, or simply visiting with a person who gets visits from no one else. Stewart does these things not for glory or fame, but because she is fulfilling her God-given mission in life.
In continuation of that mission, in 2016 Stewart acknowledged that God had also called her to preach His Word; she formally did so by preaching her first sermon in April of that year. And as she says, ‘God ain’t through with me yet.’