HOUSTON, Tex. (BNC) by Luke Griffin — Texas “Tex” Stevens passed from this life and went to his reward on March 10, 2019. He was 93 years old. His wife Danna shared with me that he did not suffer much pain until near the very end.
Tex was probably best known as the co-producer of the Visualized Bible Study Series (VBSS), often referred to as the Jule Miller Filmstrips. At his company, Gospel Services, Inc., he produced that material since the 1960s.
Many people can share memories of carrying the projector and a record player to homes to conduct a Bible study. Many children can remember their fathers letting them turn the projector at the sound of the beep, getting them involved in Bible study early in life. An entire generation put this good material to work teaching the Gospel and letting the truth of God’s Word change lives through the plan of redemption.
I got to know Tex beginning in 2013, as he began to talk with me about keeping the VBSS in circulation through Glad Tidings Publishing. Jule Miller passed away July 4, 2000, and Tex, then in his late 80s, was thinking of retiring. He viewed this material as his legacy and wanted to make sure that it would continue to do good in the brotherhood. Even after he retired, he never stopped working. He would often call me with ideas or send over new material that he was working on.
Many have shared memories with me about lessons that he taught or singing schools that he oversaw. Tex had an infectious smile, and never failed to tell me he loved me and appreciated the work being done in the kingdom.
Recently, I was going through the files of his Bible Share program. There are hundreds of letters from missionaries and personal workers all over the world sending in requests for materials, projectors, DVDs, and reporting baptisms and restorations. It would not be an overstatement to say that thousands will be in heaven in part due to this man’s dedication to getting the gospel message to people throughout the world.
When asked in 2017 about how many baptisms were a result of the filmstrips, he estimated it would be in the six figures. None of us could get to heaven without the grace of God and sacrifice of Jesus, as Tex would be quick to say. Tex did his part to make sure as many as possible heard this truth and obeyed the gospel.
After he retired, he invited me to his warehouse as he was cleaning it out to see if there was anything else we could save before he closed it up. He found keys and we went into rooms that had not been opened in years, possibly even in decades. Inside these rooms were mountains of things that had been used in producing material since the 1960s to spread the Word of God. I loaded my van full of the master tapes of the International Video Bible Lessons, J.T. Bristow material, Bible Strips, slides, and much more. Certainly, Texas was a true light on a hill that could not be hidden.
Visitation will be March 15, 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM at the Woodland Oaks Church of Christ (7300 Crownridge Dr., The Woodlands, TX 77382). The funeral service will be March 15, at 6:00 PM in the same location. The burial will be at Brookside Cemetery, Houston, Texas.
UPDATE: Danna provided us with an obituary for Tex. It follows below:
Texas Hughlan Stevens II left this world to be with his Lord who he loved so much, on Mar 10, 2019 with his wife Danna at his side. Born April 9, 1925 in Yoakum, TX, the son of Jesse and Chloe Stevens, he grew up in Cuero, TX where he graduated from high school. His grandfather (after whom he was named) wanted him to be a preacher. His father wanted him to be a song leader, sitting beside him in church (when he wasn’t leading) teaching Tex to sing tenor. They both obviously taught him well in both positions!
He attended Freed-Hardeman and then returned to Cuero where he started his preaching career. He graduated from Abilene Christian College, where he was President of the Student Body and started his preaching career at the old Sears and Summit Church (now Stillman Ave) in Dallas. While there, he did graduate work at SMU and at University of Houston in psychology.
During this time, he worked with L.O. Sanderson in singing schools and singing in a quartet with brother Sanderson, Paul Epps and Wilkin Bacon, which brother Sanderson’s son, Leon, later joined. Tex then took a position at the Ferris church, where he met and married his first wife of 49 years, Pansy Dodson. He served in ministry at Bloomington, Tex., and then served at Lyndale church in Houston.
He began his work with Gospel Services in 1973 and served part-time at McGregor Park in San Antonio and Katy, before going full time with Gospel Services. It was there he wrote and produced the “Jule Miller Film Strips”, now known as the “Visualized Bible Study Series”.
In 1977 he joined the staff at Bammel Road church in Houston, as Minister of Music.
He worked with choral groups and quartets throughout the years, including “Sounds of Glory”, composed of other Stevens family members, and “Northern Lights,” a choral group that sang throughout the Houston area. He co-ministered with Sonny Taylor in music at Woodland Oaks church, and then as Minister of Music at the Central church in The Woodlands.
Texas and Pansy had three children: Jo Ellen Hubert, David Mark, and Texas H. III. His wife Pansy and both sons preceded him in death. He married Danna Arnett May 7, 2005.
Tex retired from Gospel Services in 2014, at the age of 89, when Glad Tidings took over the product in Jacksonville, AL.
He was preceded in death by his first wife Pansy Stevens, two sons, David Mark, and Texas H. III, his grandchild Kyle Mark Stevens, one stepchild Phillip Brandon Moore. He was survived by his wife Danna, his daughter Joe Ellen, his daughter-in-law Crystal Lagunas, 8 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, three stepchildren, nine step-grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren, several nieces, nephews, and in-laws, all of whom will miss him greatly.
Photo: Glenda Williams
Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three married children and five grandchildren. He enjoys his new home office. http://randal.us