Mr. Bishop (GA) – Madame Speaker, I rise today to recognize and honor a man of great faith, a man who has given much to his community while serving as a model citizen, father, and apostle of the word of God, Pastor Stephen Stallworth.
Pastor Stallworth was called to the ministry at the young age of twenty-six. In 1970, he attended the University of Michigan and the CH Mason Seminary in Detroit, Michigan. There he was ordained an Elder, and in 1976, he was installed as an Assistant Pastor.
He was offered a position by General Motors in Albany, Georgia. In 1979, he and his family moved from Michigan to Georgia, where he felt called by God to serve as a pastor.
Shortly after moving to Albany, Pastor and Mother Stallworth began the task of finding a church. One day, by a chance encounter, they discovered their first church while on their way to the parish they were attending at that time. Due to road work on their normal route, they detoured onto Church Street where they discovered a vacant church. They felt called by God to turn the empty building into a thriving, vibrant parish with which to serve God and the Albany community.
Pastor and Mother Stallworth selflessly purchased the building to begin the new church. Instead of buying a home for their family, they began a home for their spiritual family in Albany, and in 1981, Pastor Stallworth established the Greater Grace Church of God in Christ. He and Mother Stallworth took to the task of restoring and refurbishing the land and property, and in doing so they established a neighborhood ministry.
As the parish grew there was need for a larger facility, and through his ministry numerous Bishops, Pastors and Evangelist were born. There are nine churches in Pastor Stallworth’s district; five of these churches originated directly from his ministry. There are approximately twelve churches operating in the Albany area that were born under the direction of Pastor Stallworth, and there are more that 2,000 members in his district.
In March of 2008, Pastor Stallworth established a covenant between the Greater Grace Church of God in Christ and the Greater New Hope Anointed Ministries in Plant City, Florida, whose membership exceeds five hundred members and is one of the fastest growing churches in the area. The Pastor is national recording artist Calvin Callins.
In 2009, Pastor Stallworth established covenants with Pastor Ray G. Johnson of Love Life Church and with Pastor
Willie C. Carter of Acts II Full Gospel Church; both are located in Camilla Georgia.
Heeding the call to expand his ministry, Pastor Stallworth oversaw the erection of a multi-million dollar edifice. After two years of construction the new 22,000 square foot building was completed in February of 2008. 6,000 square feet are allocated for the Graceland Institute of Early Learning, which opened in September of 2008.
Ever innovative, Pastor Stallworth envisions facilities to house senior citizens and college students. He is known for never preaching the same sermon twice and he seeks to expand his ministry and preach the word of God to all he can. His mission is to always exhibit excellence in his ministry by always lifting Jesus to the height that men and women will be drawn to Him.
Madame Speaker, today I recognize and honor a man I am proud to call friend and constituent and a man who has altruistically contributed to our community, giving so much of himself. Today it is my privilege to honor Pastor Stephen Stallworth as he is elevated to the position of Apostle. He has served God and his community well and I know he will continue to do so.