Old Ned

Arizona Historymakers™

Arizona Historical Society

Warren H. Stewart Sr.

1951 -

Honored as Historymaker 2017

Religious Leader and Community Activist

Oral History Transcript:

Video by Vondalynn Dias for the Historical League

Dr. Warren H. Stewart Sr. has served as the senior pastor of First Institutional Baptist Church of Phoenix since 1977. He is widely known for his leadership in establishing an Arizona state holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., which he writes about in his newest book, Victory Together for Martin Luther King Jr. He was the chairman of the board of the National Immigration Forum and continues to serve on the board. Dr. Stewart also has written several books to provide guidance in building and strengthening African American congregations and the broader community. 

During his ministry, Dr. Stewart has campaigned for a number of community causes, including care of the homeless and veterans, healthcare for the needy, neighborhood development for low-income housing, improved mental health delivery services, care for unwed teenage mothers, immigration reform, and ending the use of overzealous police force.

Dr. Stewart has preached in 38 states in 51 countries. As an educator, he has taught at Ottawa University-Phoenix Campus, Phoenix Seminary, and the doctor of ministry program at Fuller Theological Seminary. He also has served as chair of the board of trustees of the American Baptist Seminary of the West in Berkeley, California.

Dr. Stewart holds a bachelor’s degree in religion and philosophy and graduated summa cum laude from Bishop College in Dallas. He earned master of divinity and master of sacred theology degrees from Union Theological Seminary in New York, and he has a doctor of ministry degree from American Baptist University of the West. Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kansas, bestowed an honorary doctor of divinity degree on him in 1994.

Dr. Stewart and his wife Rev. Karen Stewart have a blended family of 7 children and 12 grandchildren.