RWB Stewart was born in 1960 in Columbia, Missouri and was appointed to the advancing line in 2008 by Most Worshipful Brother Rocky E. Weaver. He received a BA degree from the University of Missouri—Columbia in 1983 and graduated from the UMC School of Law in 1987, later that fall taking a job at the Missouri Public Service Commission as a staff attorney litigating utility company rate cases. The five-member bipartisan Commission subsequently appointed him Staff Director where he oversaw the agency’s 200-plus employees and was responsible for the overall management of the agency. In 1993 he left government service and opened his own law firm in Columbia where he was in private law practice for sixteen years. He currently is the Legislative and Regulatory Counsel for the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives in Jefferson City, Missouri.
He married his wife Kris in 1981 at the Newman Center. Kris works as a Medical Technologist at Women’s and Children’s Hospital, is active in the Columbia Community Band, and on occasion plays concerts with the Columbia Civic Orchestra. They have no children, other than their two adopted rescued racing greyhounds. They live in a remodeled historic German restaurant built with oak beams from an 1860 grist mill. He and Kris both worked at the restaurant while in junior high school, high school and in college.
Coming from a Masonic family, RWB Stewart began his Masonic career during his first year of law school in Kansas City, driving back to Columbia at night to receive his degrees. With his coaching provided by WB Don Hurlbert through courtesy of Swope Park Lodge, he was initiated an Entered Apprentice on November 27, 1984, passed to the degree of Fellow Craft on February 26, 1985, and raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason on April 9, 1985 in Twilight Lodge #114, where he served as Master from 1998-1999. He served on the Lodge Building Association, was involved in the construction of the new Columbia lodge building, and remains active as a member of the 3rd degree team as one of the “lawyer ruffians”. He holds dual membership in Acacia Lodge #602 and Fayette-Howard Lodge #4. He served on the Grand Lodge Ways and Means Committee, the Building Supervisory Board, and was President of the Masonic Children’s Foundation from 2010-2011. He is the past Chairman of the By-Laws Committee and the Scholarship Committee and currently serves as the Vice President and board member of the Masonic Home of Missouri.
He received his 32nd degree at the Columbia Valley Scottish Rite in September 1985, was honored with the rank and decoration of Knight Commander of the Court of Honour in October 1997, and was coroneted an Inspector General Honorary 33rd degree in November 2003. He served as the Venerable Master of the Lodge of Perfection from 1996-1997 during the construction of the Columbia Valley Masonic Center and was the SGIG Personal Representative from 2004 until his resignation in 2007, thereafter becoming a member of the Valley of Fort Scott, Kansas. He is a past board member of the Scottish Rite Foundation of Missouri, Past President of the Columbia Valley Temple Association, and past board member of RiteCare Valley of Columbia.
He joined the York Rite in Kirksville, Missouri in October 1988. He served as High Priest of Columbia Chapter #17 RAM in 2008, Master of Centralia Council #34 in 2011, and Commander of St. Graal Commandery #12 Knights Templar in 2007. He is a member of the Order of High Priesthood, Order of the Silver Trowel, the Past Commanders Association, and received the K.Y.C.H. in 2013. He was the Charter Secretary of the Heart of Missouri York Rite College, served as Governor in 2010, and received the Order of the Purple Cross in 2011. He currently serves on the Jurisprudence Committees of the Missouri Grand Chapter, Grand Council, and Grand Commandery.
He received the Red Branch of Eri and is past Sovereign Master of Marquis de La Fayette Council #392 Allied Masonic Degrees. His A.M.D. presentation, Recovering the Lost Master’s Word, was published by the Grand Council A.M.D. in the 2006 edition of its annual publication, Miscellanea. He also is a charter member of Court of Discovery #80, Masonic Order of Athelstan and was appointed to the Missouri Lodge of Research line in 2013 as Tyler.
His other Masonic memberships include Tipperary Council #62 Knight Masons, Royal Order of Scotland, M.S.R.C.I.F., St. Thomas of Acon, Yeomen of York, Scottish Rite Research Society, Philalethes Society, Abou Ben Adhem Shrine, Aleppo Grotto and the Sword of Bunker Hill.
RWB Stewart’s other community activities include being a Charter Member of the Southside Optimist Club, past officer of the Columbia Pachyderm Club, Past Exalted Ruler and Past Lodge Trustee of the Columbia Elks Lodge #594 B.P.O.E., and past board member of the Columbia Benevolent Organization. He currently serves on the board of directors and as Board Secretary of the Missouri 10-33 Benevolent Fund, Inc., which he co-founded with Illustrious Brother and former Governor Roger B. Wilson to assist the families of law enforcement and public safety officers who died in the line of duty.