Posted on : Friday April 26, 2019

By Sharon Mager

(adapted from an obituary written by Ken Stalls)

GLEN ALLEN, Va., — Joan Stalls, the wife of Ken Stalls, who pastored South End Baptist Church in Frederick, Maryland for over 25 years, died on April 14 following a long battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 71.


Joan was born and raised on her family’s farm in Williamston, N.C. She graduated with honors from Williamston High School and attended the Wilson School of Nursing.

She married Ken, her high school sweetheart, and the couple enjoyed over 51 years of marriage. Joan became a Christian when she was a high school senior and spent the rest of her life faithfully serving her Lord Jesus Christ.

For decades, Joan taught the four-year-old children’s class in Sunday School. Ken said she “deeply loved all of those children and she made a deep impact on their lives.”

She was also known as “an amazing pastor’s wife” and was always an integral part of her husband’s ministry, serving by Ken’s side.

“Not just anyone can be a pastor’s wife,” Ken said. “You can be the wife of someone who’s a pastor, but she has been a pastor’s wife.”

Gwen Bausum, one of Joan’s close friends at South End Baptist Church, said Joan usually went with Ken when he went to visit those who were shut in, ill, or just needed encouragement. Bausum said, “Everybody that knew her loved her.” Though Joan enjoyed Bible studies and shopping trips with Bausum and other ladies, she primarily enjoyed taking care of her home and her family.

Ken said, “Joan was always characterized by her warm and loving spirit, congenial attitude, and her faith. She touched so many. both in sickness and health, and her legacy will follow her.”

The couple retired to Virginia about five years ago and were members of Mount Vernon Baptist Church where they both served. Ken worked on staff as an interim minister for pastoral care until Joan became very ill.

Ken said, “She went peacefully in her sleep. She is finally fully well and at peace. Praise God for His precious mercy and grace.”

Joan was preceded in death by her father Church Modlin. In addition to Ken, she is survived by their son, Jonathan Stalls, and daughter-in-law, Kelly, and two granddaughters, Lauren and Audrey. She is also survived by her mother, Doris Modlin, and by her siblings, Janet Wainwright and Church Modlin Jr.

A celebration of Joan’s life was held on April 18 at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church in Glen Allen, Virginia. Another service was held Saturday, April 20, 1:30 p.m. at Maple Grove Church in Jamesville, North Carolina.

She was interred in Mt. Vernon Memorial Park. Memorial contributions may be made to Camp Phoenix, a wellness camp for cancer survivors, Attn: Pam Miller, 7501 Broach Dr., Richmond, Virginia. 23225.

Cover Photo by dylan nolte on Unsplash