Bishop Paul A. Stewart, Sr. was elected the 50th Bishop of the Christian Methodist Episcopal (C.M.E.) Church on July 1, 1998, in the Thirty-Third Quadrennial Session and the Thirty-Forth General Conference meeting in Birmingham, Alabama.

Bishop Stewart was born June 21, 1941 in Baldwyn, Mississippi, the youngest of six children born to the late Mr. Leroy and Ms. Bessie Agnew Stewart. He was educated in the elementary and secondary schools of Baldwyn. Believing strongly in the value of education, his quest for knowledge led him as follows:

Mississippi Industrial College, Holy Springs, Mississippi, 1961
Master of Divinity Degree, Phillips School of Theology of the Interdenominational Theological Center,1965
Master's Degree in Guidance and Counseling, University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi,1975
Graduate of the United States Military Academy for Chaplains, Staten Island, New York, 1975
Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) Training for Ministers, Fort Hood, Texas, 1977
Training courses for ministering to cancer patients, University of Alabama, 1980
Doctorate of Divinity Degree from Reed School of Religion, Los Angeles, CA, 1996
Doctorate of Humane Letters from Miles College, Birmingham, AL, May, 2002.

The Ministry of Bishop Stewart in the C.M.E. Church has been extensive. He has served faithfully as a local pastor of C.M.E. congregations and has been recognized as a gifted counselor, educator and administrator at institutions across the United States:

Guntown C.M.E. Church, Mississippi Circuit from 1958-1961
Miles Memorial C.M.E. Church, Augusta, Georgia, 1961-1962
Holsey Temple and Mt. Sinai, Rome, Georgia, 1962-1963
Bethel Crowley C.M.E. Church, Louisiana, 1964-1966
Dyer Chapel C.M.E. Church, West Monroe, Louisiana, 1966-1967
Dean of Chapel and Instructor of Religion at Mississippi Industrial College, Holly Springs, Mississippi and Pastor of Anderson Chapel, 1967-1975.
Chaplain in the United States Army, with the rank of Captain from 1975-1977 and granted with the Outstanding Achievement Award of Counseling Soldiers who were under stress
Dean of Students at Miles College, Birmingham, Alabama, 1977-1982 and also pastored Miles Chapel, Reform, Alabama and Porter-St. Paul, Northport, Alabama during that period
Pastored Russell Memorial, Durham, North Carolina 1982-1988 where more than 300 members were added to the church and five programs funded during his tenure.
Pastored Phillips Temple, Los Angeles, California, 1988-1998, from which he was elected Bishop. Four funded ministries were added to the Church, a Hispanic Ministry was organized and developed, and the Feeding Ministry was expanded extensively. More than 200 members were added to the church.
Served as the Presiding Elder of the Los Angeles/San Diego District in 1998

Throughout his ministry Bishop Stewart has been an active participant in community, ecumenical, civic, social and civil rights affairs. He has worked extensively with the NAACP; served on the NAACP Executive Board of Durham, North Carolina; Former president of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Durham, North Carolina and Vicinity; Former President of the Los Angeles Council of Churches for six years; Former Co-Chairperson of the Southern California Organizing Committee of the Industrial Area Foundation; Former member of the Board of Trustees and Chairperson of the Joint Board of Finance of the Southern California Conference of the C.M.E. Church; Former member of the Coordinating Council of Hope in Youth Gang Prevention Program of Los Angeles, California.

Bishop Stewart is married to the former M. Earline Gardner. They are the parents of three children: Gloria Jean Stewart-Wicks, an elementary education teacher, Greenville, Mississippi School System; Paul Jr., an Engineer for the County of Los Angeles and Shinar LaDonna Stewart-Parnell, an elementary school teacher, Los Angeles, California. They are proudly parents-in-law of Mr. Dana Parnell and Reverend Thomas Wicks.  The Stewarts are grandparents to two precious grandchildren.

Upon his election and consecration in 1998 in the Thirty-Third Quadrennial Session and Thirty-Forth General Conference meeting Birmingham, Alabama, Bishop Stewart was assigned to the Fifth Episcopal District, comprising the states of Alabama and Florida.

In the Thirty-Fourth Quadrennial Session and Thirty-Fifth General Conference of the CME Church in Atlanta, Georgia, June 29 - July 7, 2002, Bishop Stewart was assigned to the Third Episcopal District. 

At the Thirty-Seventh Quadrennial Session and Thirty-Eighth General Conference of the CME Church in Baltimore, Maryland (June 2014), Bishop Stewart was officially retired.

Prior to his retirement, Bishop Stewart served as the Chaplaincy Endorsing Agent for the CME Church; Chairman, Board of Trustees, Phillips School of Theology, Atlanta, GA; Vice Chairperson for the Board of Trustees of Miles College, Birmingham, AL;  and Advisory Board Member, Institute of Church Administration and Management (ICAM).


The Committee on Episcopacy, charged according to Paragraph 431 of The Book of Discipline, Revised 2018, met on Sunday evening August 16, 2020, and unanimously voted to assign Retired Senior Bishop Paul A. G. Stewart, Sr., the new presiding bishop of the Ninth Episcopal District.

The necessity to assign a new bishop was required following the death of Bishop Bobby R. Best on Sunday, August 2, 2020.  Bishop Best presided over the Ninth Episcopal District from June 29, 2014 until the time of his passing. 

About Bishop Paul A.G. Stewart, Sr.