St. Stephen was born out of need. In 1918, Bishop Charles Spencer Smith was made aware that there was a need for an A.M.E. 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), Rev. Michael A. Cousin (2007-2017).
Rev. Darryl Williams, our centennial pastor, was appointed and became the thirteenth pastor to lead the St. Stephen Church Family on October 1, 2017. Rev. Williams is the fourth of seven children born to the late Vernon and Frances Williams in Chicago, IL. Rev. Williams graduated from Dunbar High School in Chicago and Magna Cum Laude in 1983 from Wilberforce University.
Rev. Williams accepted the call to preach in 1977, preaching his trial sermon that same year under the tutelage of his uncle, Rev. Wilfred Reid.
Rev. Williams is a third generation A.M.E preacher, Rev. Reid’s father, Rev. Williams grandfather, was also an A.M.E. preacher.
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.