Dana Steward grew up in Rose City and Benton, the only child of Alvin and Jean Fowler. She has been a member of the Builders Class in some incantation for 45 years, beginning when the class was taught by Mrs. Dorothy Sorrells, among others, down at the Poplar Street location, shortly after she and husband Bill moved to North Little Rock after college, and she joined First United Methodist Church. She has been a United Methodist since a kindly neighbor took her to Bible School the summer she (Dana, not the neighbor) was eleven. Unchurched until that time, she immediately fell in love with the message and the ministry of the United Methodist Church. She was baptized at twelve in Parkview United Methodist in Benton, and that was her church home growing up. With the help of her pastor, she was encouraged to attend Hendrix College, where she graduated in 1965 with a degree in English.
While her children were growing up, she served in various ways within the church, acting as youth minister at the Poplar Street location at the same time Liz Fowlkes of the Builders Class was children’s minister. She has been a certified lay speaker for the church since the late 1980s. She is an adult Sunday school roving teacher, a member of Nell Dyer circle, and takes an active leadership role in the Wednesday night chapel service. At this point, much of her spiritual journey revolves around what she calls the “quiet” disciplines of meditation, prayer, study, and listening.
Bill and Dana have three children, Randy, married to Cathy and father of Claire; Laura, married to Luis, and mother of Stella and Phillip; and John, married to Becky, and father of Jack and Violet. Jack and Violet live in Little Rock and frequently attend FUMC. Bill and Dana are active in conservation organizations and love best backpacking in the Ozarks with friend and family.
Dana worked as a teacher in the Pulaski County Schools, and in 1995 she returned to college and got her M.A. degree in writing, and shortly after that retired to teach in college, both UALR and Hendrix, and to spend time with her dad and Bill’s mom. She has published three books, A FINE AGE, CHRISTMAS CUSTARD, and ROUGH SORT OF BEAUTY.
She considers herself blessed in so many ways, not the least being a part of the mutual love and fellowship and laughter of the Builder’s class.