"To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord," 2 Corinthians 5:8. Pastor Steppney L. Black peacefully went to be with the Lord on Monday, July 20, 2020 with his loving wife of forty years by his side. He was born on November 20, 1941 in Duncan, Mississippi to Jim Black, Sr. and Martha A. Black (Watts). He was preceded in death by his parents as well as three brothers and one sister. He is survived by his loving wife Caroline Black (Knight), and sisters Evangelist Catherine (Jerry) Scott and Pastor Ernestine Black. As well as four daughters; Cheryl Ann Warsop (Paul), Karen Walls, Rita Black, Tonya Smith (Donald), eleven grandchildren and eighteen great-grandchildren.
He began his religious journey in 1955 when Rev. E.N. Jude baptized him at the St. Luke Baptist Church in Jonestown, Mississippi. At the age of 15, he began teaching the adult Sunday School Class at the Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church in Shelby, Mississippi. He later served as a devoted deacon of the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Pullman, MI for many years before he was called into the ministry. He received his license to officially preach the Gospel in December of 1998, and was ordained by The Ministerial Alliance Fellowship on April 4, 1999. He served as President and Treasurer of the Ministerial Alliance Fellowship and was very active in the Chain Lake District Association. He and his wife Caroline faithfully served as co-pastors of New Hope M.B. Church for over twenty years. Pastor Steppney L. Black and Co-Pastor Black alongside a dedicated congregation and with strong faith in God were able to expand the church and dedicate a new sanctuary in 2005.
Pastor Steppney L. Black began working as a blackboard demonstrator at age 15. He later received an Associate of Arts degree from Coahoma College in Clarksdale, Mississippi. He was the lead singer and broadcast manager with the Southern Wonders of Mississippi. He also sang with quartet groups in Michigan. He and his wife Caroline were married on May 17, 1980 and settled in Pullman, MI where he was very active in the community. He was elected Trustee of Lee Township in 1992 and remained actively involved for nearly thirty years, serving as Township Representative and Chairman of the Fennville Emergency Services Committee.
When not ministering, he worked as a Sign Painter, Leather Crafter and General Handyman. He enjoyed reading religious literature, fishing, watching basketball and collecting antiques. He also loved spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren and great-grandchildren that visited often and brought him lots of joy.
A special thank you to the New Hope M.B. Church congregation and other special church members and friends for their love and support as well as Caring Circle Hospice of South Haven. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, June 26, 2021 at New Hope M.B. Baptist Church in Pullman, Michigan. The wake will be held from 12:00 P.M. to 1:00 P.M., followed by the memorial service at 1:00 P.M. with Pastor Ernestine Black of Utica, Mississippi officiating. The service is scheduled to be held outside, face covering and social distancing will be required. Pastor Steppney L. Black will be laid to rest at the Black Family Cemetery in Shelby, Mississippi.
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