Dr. Warren H. Stewart, Sr., is a native of Coffeyville, Kansas, where he was reared in a Christian family and African-American Church environment. He is married to the Reverend Dr. Karen E. (Curry) Stewart and they are the parents of a blended family of five sons, Warren, Jr., Matthew, Jared, Justin, Aaron and two daughters, Jamila Imani and Jessica Elizabeth (Curry) Morris. He is presently the Senior Pastor of the First Institutional Baptist Church of Phoenix, Arizona and has served there since July 1, 1977. Dr. Stewart was appointed Executive Secretary of the Home Mission Board of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc., in November 1994 and served through January 2005, and also continued serving as Chair of that Board through January 2010. In 2019, he became an Individual Life Member of the Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc.
Dr. Stewart’s academic achievements and awards include an Associate of Arts Degree, 1971, Honor Graduate, Coffeyville Community Junior College, Coffeyville, Kansas; Bachelor of Arts Degree in Religion and Philosophy, 1973 graduating Summa Cum Laude, Bishop College, Dallas, Texas; Master of Divinity Degree, 1976, Union Theological Seminary, New York City; Master of Sacred Theology Degree, 1977; Doctor of Ministry Degree, 1982, American Baptist Seminary of the West, Berkeley, California; was recipient of an Honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree from Ottawa University, Ottawa, Kansas, 1994; And the recipient of the Award of Excellence in Black Church Studies, 1982, Ecumenical Center for Black Church Studies, Los Angeles, California.
Dr. Stewart has also been the recipient of numerous awards and commendations from churches, colleges, civic and community organizations, locally, statewide and nationally. He was recognized by The Arizona Republic newspaper as one of the ten most influential religious leaders in the Valley (Phoenix). In 2003, he received the Calvin C. Goode Lifetime Achievement Award by City of Phoenix/MLK, Jr. Celebration. The Phoenix Business Journal named him as one of 25 “Leaders and Legends” in the business community in 2005. Dr. Stewart and FIBC received the 2015 President’s Volunteer Service Award. He was honored by being named a 2017 HISTORYMAKER by the Historical League, Inc. and in 2021, he was named 72nd Man of the Year by Valley Leadership
Dr. Stewart is the author of several books, including: INTERPRETING GOD’S WORD IN BLACK PREACHING, published by Judson Press, 1984 and in its fifth printing; HOW TO HANDLE GIANTS: Sermons to African-American Youth and Their Mentors, published by Townsend Press, 1995. He also wrote Do Prophets Exist in Contemporary Culture?, 2009; Our Values as a Pastor and People: The Bible Study, 2013; and VICTORY TOGETHER FOR MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.: The Story of Dr. Warren H. Stewart, Sr., Governor Evan Mecham and the Historic Battle for a Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday in Arizona in 2015, as well as has published articles and sermons in several major publications.
Dr. Stewart served as Associate Minister of the Cornerstone Baptist Church, Brooklyn, New York, under the pastorate of the late Dr. Sandy F. Ray. At FIBC, Pastor Stewart has licensed 163 sons and daughters into the Gospel Ministry.
Dr. Stewart served as the first General Chairperson for ARIZONANS FOR A MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. STATE HOLIDAY which contributed significantly to the legislative passage of Arizona’s Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday on September 21, 1989. Dr. Stewart also organized and led VICTORY TOGETHER, INC., a broad-based coalition that campaigned for a Martin Luther King, Jr./Civil Rights Day in Arizona which was won by a historic vote of the people in the general election on November 3, 1992. In 2011, he organized an Exploratory Committee for the open U.S. Senate from Arizona in 2012 to consider running on a platform of justice. From 2012-2014, Dr. Stewart served as Chair of the Board of the National Immigration Forum as well as co-organized the Black/Brown Coalition of Arizona. He was drafted and ran for the Phoenix City Council-District 8 seat in 2013. Dr. Stewart is an enthusiastic advocate of the sanctity of life ethic which believes that all human life has intrinsic value from conception to natural death. He is also recognized by others as “a man of conscience, commitment and dedication to the cause of moral leadership, human rights and a soldier of justice and equality.”