John David Rector, 61, a retired official of the Buick division of General Motors in the Washington area who was active in church affairs, died Thursday at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda following a stroke.

Mr. Rector was born in Dale, Texas, and grew up in the Washington area. He graduated from Benjamin Franklin University in 1941 and served in the Marine Corps during World War II.

He worked briefly at the Washington Navy Yard after the war and then began his career with the Buick division, where he was involved in distributing automobiles to dealerships. He retired in 1974 after 27 years with the company.

Mr. Rector joined the Sixth Presbyterian Church in Washington in 1959. He was a Sunday School teacher there for 20 years. He served as an elder and deacon and as treasurer of the church.

He also was a member of the National Capital Speakers Club, a Dale Carnegie organization, and won a number of trophies for public speaking.

Survivors include his wife, the former Dorothy Wilkins, of Bethesda, where the family lives; his mother and step-father, Mr. and Mrs. Robert A. Dindlebeck, of Strasburg, Va.; a brother, William H. Rector; and a half-brother, Robert Dindlebeck, both of Arlington.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Sixth Presbyterian Church.