Pastor Jerome Stevenson said he is grateful for the privilege to serve as the moderator of The Allegheny Union Baptist Association.
“I am very excited about the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead of this association,” Rev. Stevenson said to an adoring crowd at his inaugural ceremony at Morning Star Baptist Church in Clairton where he serves as pastor. “We want to build better relationships with God first and with each other. We want to build excitement and enthusiasm about the work the Lord has for the AUBA. We want to build paths of accountability so everyone connected with the association will know what is going on in the association.”
REV. JEROME STEVENSON
The Allegheny Union Baptist Association, which has been in existence for 58 years, has 152 churches in the western part of Pennsylvania. Its headquarters is located on Wylie Avenue in the Hill District.
As its moderator, Stevenson will serve as the general overseer of the organization and represent at national conventions. He will also help with funding and counsel churches that are having trouble.
“It’s going to be a very exciting time. This is the beginning of Stevenson’s term where he can promote his vision,” said Rev. Barbara Gunn, pastor of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in North Versailles and chairperson of the inaugural committee. “Morning Star has been such a big presence in the AUBA for years, she added.”
Prior to being appointed to the office of moderator, Rev. Stevenson held several positions within the organization including treasurer, board of trustees, vice moderator of the Lower Mon Area and most recently vice moderator at large. He will serve as moderator for four years.?Stevenson campaigned for the post for about a year.
“I just believe that at a time like this, I was chosen by God to direct the group,” Rev. Stevenson said. “I want to maintain a high level of spirituality and we must remain holy,” he said.
Reverend Stevenson, who has been a member of AUBA for over 20 years plans on drawing on his two decades of experience to take the organization to the next level.
Reverend Stevenson was born and raised in Braddock. He was baptized at an early age, but did not accept Jesus Christ as his savior until well into adulthood. After being saved, he worked as a Sunday School teacher and superintendent, trustee, deacon, usher and advisor to junior ushers before accepting his call to preach in 1989. He preached his first sermon in October of that year. After being licensed and ordained in 1991, he served as pastor of Morning Star Baptist Church in West Mifflin for 17 years.
He became pastor of Morning Star Baptist Church in Clairton in 2008. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in Community Ministry from Geneva College, a master’s degree in theological studies from Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary and a doctorate of ministry degree from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.
State Rep. Dave Levdansky feels that Stevenson’s life experiences will be an asset in his role as moderator.
“You bring a lot of life experience and your life experience will serve you well in the AUBA,” Levdansky said.
Reverend Stevenson said the AUBA helped him during a critical time in his life as a Christian.
“When I first got saved, I felt that I was caught in the middle. The church hadn’t embraced me yet and those guys embraced me until I was able to embrace my Christian walk,” Rev. Stevenson said. “Some of the friendships that I developed still exists.”
Many of his longtime AUBA friends attended his inauguration ceremony to show their support. “This is the greatest association this side of heaven,” said
Rev. Earlene Coleman, past area vice moderator. “This is a time of stretching from beyond where we were.”
Reverend Stevenson agreed with Rev. Coleman.
“If we are going to rebuild, we must be willing to rock the boat, kick out the old and bring in the new. We have to build relationships with God and then with one another,” Rev. Stevenson said. “When we build relationships with one another, we are increasing our resources and when we build a relationship with God we tap into his resources.”