Saint Stephen Missionary
July 29, 1949
This date St. Stephen Missionary Baptist Church was organized at the home of Rev. and Mrs. C.L. Smallwood at 44 Davis Street N.W. Atlanta. The church was organized with twenty-seven (27) members in attendance. The first song A Charge to Keep I Have was led by Reverend Smallwood followed by a prayer from Reverend A.C. Culbreath and scripture by Reverend Smallwood.
At the beginning, the 1950 services were held at Saint Mark Baptist Church. After a few months, Saint Stephen’s members purchased a building at 454 Bedford Place N.E. After determining that permission had not been granted for the building, St. Stephen moved to White Rock Baptist Church for Sunday Services. Shortly thereafter, St. Stephen moved to Holmes Institute. It was during this time that Rev. B. M. Milner was called as Pastor. During his tenure services began being held at Hines Funeral Home.
In April of 1952 year, Rev. William J. Ferrell was called as Pastor. January 1953 St. Stephen began holding joint services with St. Mark Baptist Church located at 244 Houston St. N.E. In February 1953 St. Mark and St. Stephen consolidated their membership under the continued leadership of Rev. Ferrell until 1955. On October 19, 1955, Rev. B.B. Bowens was called to the pulpit of St. Stephen. In 1958, St. Stephen purchased and moved into the church at 181 Georgia Avenue, S.E., now known as 181 Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard (The Hall).
1960’s and 1970’s
During the early 1960’s St. Stephen was incorporated by Dea. Isaiah Davis. Rev. Grady Butler was called to pastor on March 23, 1969. Under his leadership many boards and auxiliaries were organized or reorganized to develop a stronger functioning church. The boards and auxiliaries included – the Trustee Board, Pastor’s Aide Club and Scholarship Aide Club. Groups organized were the Grady Butler Chorus, Sanctuary Choir, Advisory Council and the Birthday Club. During Rev. Butler’s pastoral period, the income of the church more than doubled and debts were paid off. In March 1971, May 1973 and December 1979 properties adjacent to the Georgia Avenue property were purchased.
Rev. Grady Butler remained as Pastor of St. Stephen until 1981. On February 8, 1982, Rev. Earl L. Calloway became the sixth pastor of St. Stephen. Rev. Calloway has instituted many programs, set lofty goals and has seen the manifestation of most of these goals. Being a man capable of bringing God’s Word to the people, Rev. Calloway has caused membership to grow by approximately fifty percent and has ordained several deacons since 1982. Under Rev. Calloway’s leadership, we have seen the development, establishment and revitalization or reorganization of many auxiliaries, boards, ministries and committees such as the Christian Education Council, Latchkey Program, Singles Ministry, Food Bank Program, Prayer and Praise/Bible Study Class, Joe Lewis Miller Memorial Scholarship Fund, the Pastor’s Cabinet, Christian Men Network, Christian Women in Action, the Music Ministry, Usher Boards, Board of Trustees, The Business Development Committee and the Tree of Life Committee. New additions are the Women’s Bible Class, Youth Ministry, Senior Ministry, Young Adult Usher Board, Intercessory Ministry, Jesus Set the Captives Free, The Willing Workers, Children’s Church, Bridge Over Trouble Waters Ministry and the Bountiful Harvest Food Ministry.
On June 18, 1989, Pastor Earl L. Calloway and the St. Stephen Family achieved a major goal by moving from 181 Georgia Ave. Atlanta, Georgia to 2670 Hogan Road, East Point, Georgia where the church currently resides.
2005 - 2011
Pastor Calloway has had great visions for St. Stephen’s growth within the community. He works aggressively to find means by which life can be improved for the St. Stephen family and the community. He is particularly interested in the needs of our youth and elderly. Currently, under his leadership, the church have witnessed God’s miraculous work as he has blessed us to renovate our sanctuary, childcare area and constructed additional space brick by brick, which includes the Baptismal, Family Life Center, a commercial kitchen, walking track and administrative offices. There is no original members alive today. In 2008, we sold the property at 181 Ralph DavidAbernathy Boulevard (The Hall).
In august 2009, St. Stephen opened Saturday School Ministry, which offered tutorial classes in math, science, English, and reading. The tutorial also includes CRCT, sat and act prep assistance. The church purchased property on Dodson Rd. for future expansion and a house at 2891 Knollwood to accommodate Sunday school classes and ministry meetings.
A new horizon, St. Stephen’s Christian Academy opened on August 12, 2013.
On Sunday, April 6, 2014, pastor Calloway announced his phase 3 vision for the building and improvement program for the church.