Pablo Stone was awarded the Will Wittkamper Award at the Disciples Peace Fellowship (DPF) breakfast on July 12 at General Assembly. The Wittkamper Award honors persons who have dedicated themselves to a lifetime of advancing the causes of peace. This is the 30th anniversary of the biennial award.
Stone worked in food development for 30 years in Latin America as a missionary. Because of his faithful service he was declared "persona non grata" by the Nicaraguan government. He also served as a volunteer representative for DPF in Washington DC for 10 years. Pablo is well known for his "bumper sticker" ministry: his car is easily recognized by its 80-plus peace and justice messages holding his car together.
Stone was born January 3, 1928, in Hartford, Conn., where parents were preparing to be missionaries in South America. Because of the economic depression at the time, there were no funds available to support their quest for a mission and they moved to Kentucky, where Pablo grew up in a number of small communities where his father held pastorates. From 1944 to 1952, Pablo hitchhiked 73,000 miles across 30 states. This was travel to jobs, school and visiting home and friends. He spent three summers working in the Kansas wheat harvests.
With a dream of becoming a missionary, Stone attended Arkansas Tech Junior College, Berea College, and Phillips University, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and history. He was commissioned as a missionary by United Christian Missionary Society, the forerunner of the Division of Overseas Ministries and Disciples Home Missions in 1953. Stone spent 30 years serving as a missionary in Costa Rico, El Salvador, Ecuador, Columbia and Mexico working on agriculture and food development issues. He also served as a volunteer representative for Disciples Peace Fellowship in Washington, D.C. for 10 years. Stone is retired and lives in Black Mountain, N.C.