On May 21, 2022, UESI Finance and Administration Department and UESI Communication and Networking Department hosted a special webinar to remember and celebrate with gratitude to God the life of Dr TN Sterrett and Ms Eloise Sterrett. The panel of speakers consisted of Rev Dr Arthur Hope, former GS of UESI, Dr A Arjunan, a retired Professor of English from Madurai and the author of the biography of Dr T N Sterrett, ‘The Tale of a Legend’, Prof Tali Alinger, who was the pioneer of the UESI ministry in North East India, Ms Shirley Christopher, former staff worker of UESI, Mr Cyril Kunder, Bangalore who served Ambassadors for Christ for several years, and Ms Jennifer Sterrett Boll, granddaughter of the Sterretts. Dr Joseph John, a Professor and graduate from Mumbai moderated the program.
Dr T Norton Sterrett was born on 10th Nov 1912 in Urumia, Persia (now Iran) to missionary parents Rev Charles Clarke Sterrett and Susan Reid Norton. Since his mother’s health was failing, his parents left Persia when Norton was four years old. Norton graduated from Columbia Bible College, South Carolina, USA. Later he completed his Th.B, Th.M, and Th.D from Dallas Theological Seminary with high honours. In the summer of 1929, while listening to a missionary speaker at a Bible Conference at Keswick Grove, New Jersey, the Lord spoke to Norton of His missionary plan. Norton married Eloise on 10th June 1938, who was his class mate in Columbia Bible College. Eloise also shared the missionary vision of Norton. Initially, they were planning to go to South America. But the Lord turned their hearts towards India. In 1939, a year after their marriage, Norton and Eloise reached India. From 1939 to 1948 the Sterretts had their base in Kanpur, UP. During this time their two children Gerry and Anne were born in Kanpur. Also, during these nine years they studied Hindi & Indian culture, and ministered in villages. They served as IVCF staff with IFES and as a part time faculty of the Bible School at Jhansi, UP, teaching God’s word and partnering with other missionaries.
In 1950 Brother Bakht Singh introduced Dr TN Sterrett to Prof H Enoch, who invited Dr Sterrett to speak in meetings organized by Madras EU with the Moody Science Film – “The God of Creation”. Prof Enoch, John Moody and HS Ponnuraj were challenged by the simplicity and deep commitment of Dr Sterrett. The Sterretts were among the founding members of UESI. They also became the first Staff Workers of UESI.