The Reverend Dr. Marshell Stenson has been named Pastor of the Year for 2010 by The Informer newspaper and will be honored at The Informer's Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards Ceremony held on Saturday, January 15, 2010 at 12 noon at Dr. Stenson's church, St. Luke Baptist Church located at 1180 Haywood Road in Macon, Georgia.
A native of LaGrange, Georgia, Dr. Stenson is married to the lovely Dr. Mary Banks Stenson. Dr. Stenson graduated with a B.A. degree from Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia, and then began his theological studies in earnest. Holding a Bachelor of Divinity Degree from Morehouse School of Religion in Atlanta, a Master of Divinity Degree from the International Theological Center in Atlanta and a Doctor of Divinity from Carver Bible College in Atlanta, Dr. Stenson has been well-prepared to teach The Word for many years.
Pastor of St. Luke Baptist Church in Macon for over 40 years, Dr. Stenson served as President of Bryant's Theological Seminary in Fitzgerald, Georgia from 1969 until 2004 and has served as President Emeritus since that time. He is a member of the Baptist Ministers Union of Macon and Vicinity and has served as Moderator Emeritus of the Middle Georgia Orthodox Association since 2004. Dr. Stenson is also a member of the NAACP, the General Missionary Baptist Convention -- State of Georgia, and the National Baptist Convention, USA. He is a 32nd Degree Mason and is Vice Chairman of the Citizens Advisory Committee of The Medical Center of Central Georgia.
Dr. Stenson has received many awards over the years, including
- Outstanding Christian Service (to the 6th District General Missionary Baptist Convention of Georgia)
- Charles Emerson Boddie Merit Award (for Excellence in Christian Education by the American Baptist Theology Seminary of Nashville, Tennessee)
- Commitment of Service (for serving 20 years as President of Bryant's Theological Seminary)
- Dedication of Marshell Stenson Hall (a 33 room dormitory on the campus of Bryant's Theological Seminary in Fitzgerald, Georgia(
Dr. Stenson has been involved in the Civil Rights Movement since its beginnings. In Newnan, Georgia, he notified federal officials of inequities at the local hospital and has hosted many of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s marches in Macon. Dr. Stenson was the leader in tacking demands for equality on the door of the Bibb County Board of Education. He participates in Emancipation Proclamation and Martin Luther King marches each year in Macon.
Tyrone Brooks, State Representative and President of GABEO (Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials) said it best. "Dr. Stenson is an unsung hero in the clergy and the Civil Rights Movement who has never received the kind of recognition that he deserves. I am so happy that he is receiving this award from The Informer; I am proud to have known him over the years and GABEO salutes him as well."
Dr. Stenson believes that until every man is free, none of us is free.