The Allegheny Union Baptist Association of Pittsburgh, Clairton’s Morning Star Baptist Church, and the communities of Clairton and Braddock are mourning the loss of Rev. Dr. Jerome Stevenson.
“He brought a great deal of enthusiasm, dedication and energy to the work of the AUBA,” said Rev. John Cook who has served as executive secretary of the AUBA for 10 years. “We lost a very committed and humble servant.”
|REV. JEROME STEVENSON
Stevenson served as the Moderator of the Pittsburgh branch of the AUBA and was in the midst of his second term in office before his death in late January. He would have completed that second term July of this year.
Stevenson died Jan. 25. He was 64 years old. Raised in Braddock, he graduated from Braddock High School and went on to receive a Bachelor of Science degree from Geneva College in Community Ministry. He earned his master’s degree in theological studies from Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary and finished his graduate studies at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary where he received his Doctorate of Ministry degree.
He accepted God’s call to ministry in July of 1989 and he was licensed and ordained by Rev. George Nowlin. Stevenson pastored his first church, the Morning Star Baptist Church in West Mifflin for 17 years.
In March 2008, Stevenson took the helm as pastor of Morning Star Baptist Church in Clairton. While serving as pastor there, he coined the phrase “Morning Star, the big church with a small church intimacy. Morning Star, the small church with a big church ministry.”
He installed an elevator at the church and had the front of the church renovated. Stevenson brought back many ministries at Morning Star like the couple’s ministry and he created the Saturday night worship service. He was also an avid supporter of the Clairton Bears football and basketball team and was a member of teams’ booster groups.
“For us this is a great sudden and saddening loss. He left quite a legacy with his vision and work in the church and in the community,” said Terrence Hammons Sr., chairman of Deacons at Morning Star Baptist Church in Clairton.
Hammon said Morning Star will be in a period of mourning for several months before looking into candidates to replace him. In the interim, the running of the church will fall on the deacons and Sunday services will be preached by Morning Star’s associate pastors and visiting clergy.
“We will continue to follow the example he set and we will continue his ministries. He was a knowledgeable and humble person who lived Christ and exemplified it in his daily life walk,” Hammons said. “He took care of the people in the church. He was a wonderful pastor and a unique person.”
Prior to becoming AUBA Moderator, Stevenson came up through the ranks of the collaborative, serving on several fronts including the hospitality committee and as Vice Moderator of the Lower Monongahela Area.
According to Cook, this is the first time that the AUBA had a moderator pass away in office. Moderators are elected annually, although one moderator can serve up to four years. Current AUBA Vice Moderator, Rev. Alex Piper will fill the remainder of Stevenson’s term. Founded in 1952, the AUBA is a collaboration of more than 120 predominately Black churches in western Pennsylvania whose mission is to assist churches in numerous ministerial areas including youth ministry.
In addition to his AUBA commitments, Stevenson served on other boards including Clairton Ministerial Alliance, volunteer chaplain at the Allegheny County Jail and Vice Moderator at Large Baptist Ministers’ Conference of Pittsburgh and Vicinity Inc.
Stevenson leaves his wife, Constance Elaine Stevenson, son Richard and wife Paula, sister Brenda Page and brother Walter Page and four grandchildren to cherish his memory.
Visitation was held from 4-8 p.m. Jan. 29 at New Hope Baptist Church in Braddock and Jan. 30 at Morning Star Baptist Church, in Clairton. Funeral Services were held at Morning Star Jan. 31 at 11 a.m. Interment was held at Monongahela Cemetery. Funeral arrangements were handled by Watts Memorial Chapel in Braddock.