St. Stephen was born out of need. In 1918, Bishop Charles Spencer Smith was made aware that there was a need for an AME Church on the west side of Detroit. A young minister, The Reverend T. J. White (1918-1920) volunteered to undertake this mission. With the enthusiastic assistance of Evangelist Julia Hall, the task was begun. On Sunday, November 18, thirteen charter members signed the Document of Organization at the home of Brother Walter James. A lot was purchased on the corner of Stanford and Cobb in 1920. A temporary tar-papered building was built to house services.
Since its inception, with our present minister, St. Stephen has only had twelve pastors. This speaks well for the cooperative spirit of the officers and members of this church. (List the names of the pastors) Each pastor has presided during a period of development, expansion and maintenance of the St. Stephen tradition of fellowship, family and community service.
We pay homage to the twelve shepherd who have served in leadership: Rev Thomas J. White (1918-1920), Rev. M.C. Wright (1920-1921), Rev. S.S. Harris (1921-1923), Rev. William E. Walker (1923-1927), Rev. J.D. Howell (1927-1949), Dr. Charles S. Spivey (1949-1960), Rev. Martin Luther Simmons (1960-1972), Rev. John E. Hunter (1972-1980), Rev. Harold C. Huggins (1980-1987), Rev. Delano Bowman (1997-2004), Rev. Alfred Johnson (2004-2007).
In October 2007, Dr. Michael A. Cousin was appointed and became the twelfth pastor to lead the St. Stephen Church Family. Dr. Cousin’s dynamic and grassroots preaching style appeals to all ages. He has encouraged and inspired young people in the immediate church neighborhood to come to St. Stephen and get involved. His teachings help us all to realize how applicable the Bible and its teachings are to our lives today.
We’re optimistic for the future!
***This Historical Synopsis is attributed to the research of our member Sister Harriett Young of the St. Stephen Historical Society.