Janet Stone remembered

Murdoch, Western Australia


Janet Mary Hopgood Stone, 84, passed away 14 October in Murdoch, Western Australia. She was the widow of Max Stone, the first Australian-born district superintendent of the Australia Southern District.

Born on 14 February 1934 in Adelaide, South Australia, Janet Hopgood and her family attended the Prospect North Methodist church in Adelaide from an early age. Also attending this church was her future husband, Max Stone, who accepted Christ during a special mission at the church in 1951. After hearing the Nazarene radio program Showers of Blessing later that year, Max and Janet began attending the Adelaide Church of the Nazarene, the third Nazarene congregation in Australia, which was inaugurated in March 1947. The congregation experienced a season of revival that year, resulting in the salvation and entire sanctification of many who later went on to become Nazarene pastors in Australia, including Max Stone.

Soon after their wedding in 1954, Max and Janet attended Nazarene Bible College in Sydney (now Nazarene Theological College). After graduation from NBC in 1957, the Stones returned to Adelaide, where Max became the Pastor of the Croydon Park church. Four years later, Max was ordained in the Church of the Nazarene.

By 1964, they moved to Queensland with their three boys, Garry, Mark, and David, where Max, who was now both district secretary and a member of the District Advisory Board, became pastor for the next five years of the Stafford church in Brisbane.  

From 1969 to 1973, the Stones served the central Queensland mining community of Biloela, where Max was the pastor of the Biloela church and operated a driving school while Janet founded and operated a successful childcare center. The following year, the Stone family moved back to South Australia, where Max served for the next six years as pastor of the Gawler church. 

The Australia Southern District was created in March 1977, and Max became the first district secretary. A few years later, Max accepted a call to the church in Victoria. During this six-year pastorate, Max was elected district superintendent in January 1981, and Janet later became district president of Nazarene Missions International. During his time serving as DS, Max also served as supply pastor in Melbourne, Adelaide, Gawler, and Birrong. 

After Max resigned as district superintendent due to health issues in 1994, the Stones relocated to Western Australia, settling in 1996 in Rockingham. During his retirement years, Max served as a supply pastor twice in Perth and also as a chaplain for Baptist Care. Later on, Max and Janet moved into the Mandurah Gardens Retirement Village in Coodanup, where Max served as chaplain until a year before his death in 2012.

Janet Stone is survived by her three sons, Garry, Mark, and David; five grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. Her funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday 25 October at the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church. Former Australia-New Zealand Field Strategy Coordinator Robert Woodruff will conduct the service. 

--Asia-Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary via NCN News submissions

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