Pastor Ron Hock, pastor Eastland Heights Baptist Church, Newark, received the 2020 Darty and Dot Stowe Award at the 67th annual meeting of the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio November 16. Dwayne Lee presented this 26th presentation of the award.
Ron was born in Zanesville in 1935 and born again in 1958. He attended Tennessee Temple in Chattanooga, graduating in 1963 with a Graduate of Theology degree. Upon graduation, Ron co-founded and served as assistant pastor of the Bible Center Baptist Church in East Ridge, TN. Ron and his young family moved to Rome, Georgia, in 1966, where he served as a youth leader and Bible teacher and got his introduction to Southern Baptists.
Ron’s secular employer moved him to Newark, OH, in 1968, where he began serving at Eastland Heights Baptist Church. He was asked to fill the pulpit occasionally in 1969 and then became interim pastor. January 1970, the church called him as their pastor and ordained him in May 1971. You read that correctly; Pastor Hock has served the same church, Eastland Heights Baptist Church, for over 50 years! Lord willing, January 2021, he will complete his 51st year at Eastland Heights.
Ron’s wife Betty has served faithful at his side. He earned a Christian Development Diploma and Pastoral Ministry Diploma in 1988 through the SBC Church Study Courses. Pastor Ron began nursing home and retirement center ministries, where he still serves. He has served on the board of the Center for Alternative Resources, a crisis center and information and referral service in Newark. He has also served on the Mission Council for the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio.
Pastor Ron and Betty Hock have served faithfully, as Eugene Peterson put it, 'a long obedience in the same direction,’ which serves as an encouragement to us all.
Darty and Dot Stowe began their ministry with Mission Ohio in 1954 as director of missions for the greater Cincinnati area. A year later, he became state director of missions and then became the associate executive secretary, working closely with state executive secretary Ray Roberts. Darty and Dot loved their work in Ohio and served until his home going in 1981. Dot accepted a position as director of a women’s residence hall at Georgetown College in 1983, where she influenced many young women. She moved back to Ohio in 1989 and stayed in close contact with friends in the ministry until joining Darty with our Lord in 2000.
Darty Stowe led well from the ‘second chair,’ with a servant’s heart, leaving a great legacy in Ohio. Every year, the award is given to a pastor or minister who has served faithfully, perhaps never recognized like those in the larger, more visible churches, but leaving a legacy and serving in the spirit of 1 Thessalonians 2:3-12. Annual gifts to Georgetown College from the Stowe family provide the Darty and Dot Stowe Award.
Candidates for the Stowe Award must be currently serving Mission Ohio and have at least five years of service. Nominations are submitted to the state convention staff by October 1 each year. The award is announced during the annual meeting of the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio. A recognition plaque and a financial award for the purchase of books and/ or continuing education are presented to the recipient.