Thank you for your love for Stuart and Autumn. So many people are reaching out to them with words of encouragement. We are asking that you share your thoughts, prayers, words of encouragement, and questions here. We will respond ASAP if needed and Stuart will see each one!


Messages to Stuart

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and questions here. Stuart WILL see all of these. Please refrain from texting/calling the Paynes right now. They are so grateful for the outpouring of support.

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A GoFundMe has been established by the family for Autumn and Stuart. If you would like to help support them financially in this time, please click the link!


Wednesday, November 7

• • •U p d a t e  f r o m  A u t u m n • • •
Roughly four weeks ago my sweet Stuart was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma. About three weeks ago the surgeons did a very extensive surgery and removed the largest tumor that was located in his brain. Stuart’s recovery time has been nothing short of amazing. There has been so many miracles throughout our story and his healing process that I couldn’t write them all down even if I tried.
Today we stared down the road of treatment. God willing, we are doing radiation of the initial sight of the brain tumor to make sure that all the other cancer cells will be killed and he will start immunotherapy in two weeks time to treat the remaining tumors throughout his body.

We are confident in our savior to do whatever he wants to do in our lives.

We are hopeful for a miracle even if it looks different than we can understand.
We are soberly aware of the fact that there isn’t a possible reality that God isn’t standing in right now. There isn’t a place where we are out of his hands. We can’t lose.
How can you help?

1. Tell our story
Tell everyone about the amazing miracles God is doing right here in the payne family! Tell people that God loves them no matter where they are and their life isn’t by chance but has a purpose.

2. Pray
Pray that Stuart’s body takes the treatment well and he has no side effect. Pray that our hearts stay encouraged no matter what happens. Pray that my body stays healthy. Pray our minds stay focused on the purpose not the “what if’s “ Pray for the doctors to find right treatment just for us.

3. Give
I know some of you have been asking me of ways you can give our (go fund me) page is set up and it comes right to us to help pay for medical bills.

We love each of you and we are so thankful for the community that has wrapped around us. We are so thankful for a faithful Savior. He has been so kind to us throughout this process. Long after we are both gone, generations will be telling our story of how good God really is. And we’re 100% ok with that.
-Autumn, Stuart and Max

Monday, October 29th

—– From Autumn —-

I think this is a perfect picture of the Payne family today. Open handed, We are waiting at the door patiently for whatever the Father wants to give us in this season. Eyes open, watching with an anticipation of what God wants to do next. Hearts open, We know whatever the out comes is it will be better than what we could have dreamed. He’s a good shepherd, a faithful friend and a miracle working savior. Whatever our miracle looks like will take it. – Payne Family
Ps. Pray for us today🙏🏼

—-  —-

At 1:00pm, the Paynes will be at the doctor’s office to have stitches removed. Stuart’s healing from the surgery has been incredible. He has even been playing his guitar!

At 3:00pm, the Paynes will be meeting with the oncologist to discuss the treatment for the remaining cancer. Pray for them! They are very thankful for all of your prayers.

Tuesday, October 23rd

Good Morning! I know it has been several days since an update. There is only a little bit to update since last time around but check it out. The update and a couple prayer requests.

How is Stuart doing? – This guy is recovering from surgery like a champ. He went home on Friday and has been recovering. Sunday may have been a little stressful but that was the Panther’s fault :).  He is on very little medication. He is sleeping decently, all things considered. Yesterday, we took TWO walks to his mailbox (which is a pretty decent distance.) He enjoyed the fresh air. Without question, Stuart misses all of you and is grateful for the stream of messages coming in from the form (above). We are not far from posting a video with Stuart. Stay tuned!

What is next? – Today, Stuart is going to see his surgeon. They are going to examine the surgical area and make sure things look good. Later this week (Wed/Thurs) Stuart will be meeting with the oncologist to begin the battle plan to combat the cancer. Whenever the family is comfortable to share, we will let you know what that is and how to pray.

Can You Go See Stuart? – No. Not yet. We are excited that Stuart is recovering in his own home. That is the best for him. However, just because he is home doesn’t mean he is ready to party yet. He has only a couple people that can come and sit with him throughout the day to help out Autumn. Whenever he is able to see people… we will let you know.

Several Points of Prayer – Many of you have committed to praying for this couple. Here are some areas where you can focus.

Autumn’s health – Thank you for your prayers here. Please continue to do so. Autumn struggled through those days in the hospital and it has had some lingering effects. She is in good spirits but she is still battling a cough

Doctor Visits – Pray for the doctors to have wisdom and clarity when they are examining Stuarts condition and communicating with the Paynes.

Thursday, October 18th


Good evening! Greetings from Stuarts hospital room. I’ll give you a brief update today.

How is Stuart doing? – Actually, really well right now with his recovery from surgery. I (Cody) walked three laps around the nurses station down the hall from his room. He is trying to accomplish this 3x a day. He is not on any IV and very limited medication! Pretty awesome. His head is healing. We don’t know a lot about the cancer yet. That is in conversations to come. We will let you know when they have learned what the need to know and they are comfortable sharing.

Several Points of Prayer – Many of you have committed to praying for this couple. Here are some areas where you can focus.

Autumn’s health. Something in Stuart’s room triggers a severe allergic reaction for her. She is trying to work through it but it has been very difficult for her to remain in the room for extended periods of time. She has specifically asked for your prayers here.

Wisdom in important decisions – Many decisions coming in the next days and weeks. Autumn and Stuart are asking for your prayers to make wise decisions.

Stuart and Autumn are grateful for each of you. Your messages have encouraged them and continue to be a source of inspiration. THANK YOU!

Tuesday, October 16th

2:00pm – Things as they are right now

Hey Friends,

I am going to try and give as much info as I can right now. I literally just watch Stuart walk from his chair to the bed. Wow! Stuart and Autumn are incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support. They are currently reading through the messages sent here on this page. If you want to share your thoughts and prayers with them, please do it here and not by text or calling. We are trying to limit that to the caregivers and to free Autumn up to focus only on Stuart as he is recovering. So here it goes:

How is Stuart doing?

Stuart is awake and talking as much as he is able. The breathing tube is out, they are very pleased with his progress. Seriously… it is amazing to see him sitting up and eating. We are excited for this. The doctors say he may come home as soon as Friday to truly begin his recovery.

Did the surgery work?

There is a lot to be discussed in the coming days about Stuarts health status and the plan to help him recover but one thing we know: The doctor said he successfully got everything he could possibly see under the microscope as he performed surgery. No complications. He also said that Stuarts body responded well during the surgery as the tumor was removed. So yes. As far as we know, the surgery accomplished what we had hoped

Can we come visit Stuart?

In the hospital – No. At this time, the medical team helping Stuart have said that there needs to be as few people here as possible. Autumn and family are doing an incredible job of serving Stuart as he recovers. They know that and are so thankful for the desire so many have to see him. That will come when he is ready

At home – Not yet. When Stuart gets home, he will not yet be ready for visitors. The Paynes will slowly reach out and share when Stuart can have people come see him. He is only moving home because it is a more favorable location to recover. We promise… when he is ready to see people, we will let you know.

How can we help Stuart and Autumn?

Pray – Seriously, this is not a last resort. This is the greatest gift you give the Payne’s. Someday, they will share theirs story and how much your prayers have meant. Don’t stop. Double down. Keep praying. Fight this battle along side of them on your knees.

Encourage – Above, we have given you an awesome way to share encouragement with them. This is the preferred way for them to hear from you. Autumn will spend time over these days reading through these messages to encourage Stuart. Thank you.

Serve – There are several areas where you may be able to serve Autumn and Stuart over the coming weeks and months. From meals when they are home to helping with our Middle School ministry. Message us on the form above

Give – So many have asked how they can give financially to help the Payne’s navigate this time. We have linked the GoFundMe account above. Consider giving there. Definitely share the GoFundMe as well as your love for Stuart on your social media.

Monday, October 15th

8:00pm – Still celebrating a successful surgery. Word from Stuart’s room is that he is awake, talking away, and he might want to color Maximus’ fur purple. I’ll have to check on that one. He remembered who he was, who Autumn was, and all of the important stuff. Pray for a good rest tonight.

3:30pm – DONE! Stuart’s surgery went well. The doctor came in and said that as the tumor was removed that his body responded positively and even better than expected. Several days of recovering are ahead here at the hospital and then weeks out of the hospital. Oncology discussions to come as well. THANK YOU for continuing to pray for Stuart. Autumn has been uplifted by your messages throughout the day. She will be reading them to Stuart throughout the week to come. Today we are celebrating.

2:30pm – We are 6.5 hours into surgery now. Word continues to come back that things are OK, going planned but still going. No more news than that right now. Thank you SO much to those of you who have shared the GoFundMe page (above)! We are over 500 shares!

11:45am – Just received our 4th update from the staff at the hospital. All of the updates are the same: “Just got word from the O.R. Everything is going as planned and all is well.”

7:15am – Friends and family left the room as the nurses started preparing Stuart. This team here is amazing. Stuart is understandably nervous but completely confident in the Lord. Pray!

6:00am – Pastors and friends surrounded Stuart and Autumn this morning in prayer.

Sunday, October 14th

5:28pm – Just returned from the hospital with Stuart. His surgery is scheduled for 8:30am tomorrow morning. He will go back to anesthesia around 7:00am. He has an incredible surgeon! #PrayForStuart #DotThatIBro

Stuart will have a procedure at 9am this morning to find out some critical information for his surgery on Monday. Please pray that this procedure goes well.

Saturday, October 13 – The original message

Dear Parents/Students/Family/Friends,

I want to take take a minute and send out an update on Stuart Payne, our Middle School Pastor at Bethlehem. Over the last few weeks, Stuart has dealt with some illness. Today we want to bring you, our Student Ministry family into the loop so we can be praying for the situation.

First of all remember God is in control, and prayer is what we do……We ask our heavenly father to direct and guide in all situations. We knew by Thursday night that Stuart had a brain tumor in the back of his head, he was transferred to a hospital in Charlotte on Friday, and went through quite a bit of testing.

The most recent testing diagnosed that Stuart has stage four cancer. We are still waiting on an exact protocol for treatment, and they are talking about taking the brain tumor out on Monday.

Stuart and Autumn have quite a bit of family here and friends that are walking alongside them, and what we can do best for them right now is pray, and be ready to help when the time comes. They are both great young people of faith, and they are trusting God through every twist and turn.


SEND ENCOURAGEMENT!! Please share your thoughts and prayers with Stuart and Autumn by posting above. Texts and calls can be overwhelming. Please use this to share/encourage/ask questions.

TALK AS A FAMILY: Please take some time to discuss this as a family. Does this situation bring up questions with kids?

PRAY! Autumn and Stuart are asking that everyone surround them in prayer!

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