Changing A Generation Full Gospel Baptist Church was birthed out of the legacy and rich history of Greater St. Stephen Missionary Baptist Church, which was organized on January 6, 1937 in a rented hall on South Liberty Street in New Orleans, LA by the late Rev. Arthur A. Gundy. After experiencing great growth they moved to Ladies Providence Hall and then again in 1939 to a two-story building at 2308 South Liberty located in the Uptown area of New Orleans. In 1954 construction on the new church began, but Rev. Gundy was called home that same year and did not see his vision come to pass. His Assistant Pastor, Rev. Percy Simpson, Jr. was immediately appointed Pastor-in-Charge and continued the work started by Rev. Gundy.
A Time of Transition…
Greater St. Stephen continued to grow and they marched into the new edifice in the spring of 1955 with the newly elected Pastor, Rev. Percy Simpson, Jr. Rev. Simpson continued to grow and develop a ministry that changed lives by adding new auxiliaries, programs, a weekly radio broadcast, and the acquisition of additional property. However, Rev. Simpson would not see his vision come to fruition. His untimely death on Nov. 27, 1974 devastated the city and our church family.
Once again history would repeat itself and the Assistant Pastor, Rev. Paul S. Morton took the helm and like his predecessor became Pastor-in-Charge.
Times of Great Transitioning…
Rev. Morton was elected Pastor of the church on December 27, 1974. He took the ministry even further than his predecessors because of a dual anointing. Bishop Morton was a trailblazing visionary and under his leadership Greater St. Stephen experienced phenomenal growth and expansion on every level. He continued to heed the voice of God and kept growing and made many accomplishments.
· A 2000-seat sanctuary Uptown New Orleans (The Mother church)
· A 3000-seat sanctuary acquired in New Orleans East
· 1000-seat sanctuary on the Westbank
· School of Ministry and Bible College, a Corporate Headquarters in New Orleans East for of the three church locations, GSS Learning Center, an academy, a Christian Bookstore, a Print shop, and over 60 auxiliary ministries.
In February 1993, Elder Debra B. Morton was appointed Co-Pastor and with her assistance the church was able to grow and expanded… into “One church in three locations”. Co-Pastor Debra Morton, also, founded the Women of Excellence, the Eljeanette White Parent Child Center, opened Spanobia Spa and Salon servicing thousands of women throughout the City of New Orleans…helping to make the ministry even Greater.
Bishop Morton heeded the voice of God again and accepted the Office of Bishop and was consecrated on May 19, 1993 as the first Presiding Bishop of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International—“giving Baptists the Right to Choose.”
Though Bishop Morton took on additional responsibilities as International Bishop, Greater St. Stephen continued to flourish and impact the community with the following:
· The purchase of St. Stephen City in 1996
· The acquisition of 16 acres of land on New Orleans Westbank and 16 acres of undeveloped and on the Eastbank for future growth
· Raising over 2 million dollars in 60 days to purchase our first educational facility - the Greater St. Stephen Learning Academy and a Senior Citizen housing facility.
The legacy of doing Kingdom work for the Lord continued as we grew to a congregation of over 20,000 people and planted several ministries in the State of Louisiana with sons of the ministry serving as pastors.
A Greater Time of Transition…
In August 2005, Katrina devastated the New Orleans area. God said to Bishop Morton, “I may be down-sizing New Orleans but I won’t down-size your ministry.” So, in October 2005, Greater St. Stephen/Atlanta began having services at New Beginning Full Gospel Baptist Church at 3:00 p.m. By January 2006; we marched into our newly renovated edifice at 4185 Snapfinger Woods Drive where the Lord began adding to the church daily.
After the waters receded in New Orleans, renovations were underway to REBUILD. Greater St. Stephen was not only blessed by the compassion and contributions from the Body of Christ, they were able to be a blessing to thousands who came to receive assistance (food, clothing, personal necessities, etc.) after Katrina. The Westbank and Uptown locations were restored and the services were filled to capacity. Bishop Morton was led to install Bishop Tommie Triplett as Pastor of the Westbank Location in 2007. We became “One Church in Two States” with Greater St. Stephen FGBC Uptown and Greater St. Stephen/Atlanta.
With a determination to “Change A Generation” during a difficult time in both states, Bishop Morton adopted a new motto: “Changing the Way We Do Church.” In Atlanta, the church prospered with over twenty active ministries within two years.
We grew spiritually, charitably, and financially. We began our relocation efforts by securing a piece of property in Southwest Atlanta and starting our Greenbriar and Pew Chair Campaign. On October 18, 2007 the grounds of the property located at 3350 Greenbriar Parkway, SW, the future home of the ministry was consecrated back to the Lord. And, after celebrating 33 years of pastoring in New Orleans, Louisiana, Bishop Morton passed the mantle to his wife, Dr. Debra B. Morton and appointed her as Senior Pastor of Greater St. Stephen. Bishop Morton serves as her Co-Pastor.
This repositioning, therefore, evoked the change in our name in 2008 after Bishop Morton repositioned his focus as Senior Pastor of the newest church birthed out of the legacy and strength of Greater St. Stephen…the place where so many now call home “Changing A Generation Full Gospel Baptist Church-Atlanta.” We are producing a Greater Change with One Church In Two States.
After acquiring and blessing of the grounds at 3350 Greenbriar Parkway SW in Atlanta, we completed our financial efforts, and began construction on the new edifice. On Sunday, October 26, 2009, we officially held our last service at the Snapfinger location, and began our transition into Southwest Atlanta. During this transition in October 2009, we relocated our Corporate Headquarters and held our, Sunday Worship Services at Berean Seven Day Adventist Church on Hamilton E. Holmes during November 2009.
We Were Southwest Atlanta bound!
Joshua 6:16 says “And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpet, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the Lord hath given you the city…
On Sunday, November 29, 2009, the promise was fulfilled as Bishop Paul S. and Dr. Debra B. Morton, along with C.A.G. family, and a host of special guests and friends dedicated the newly constructed “Changing A Generation Full Gospel Baptist Church” edifice back to the Lord…
Since making Southwest Atlanta our new home, Changing A Generation continues to grow by leaps and bounds. We expanded our boarders to meet the needs of our members and the community. After 30 years of a successful television ministry, we began a more interactive approach to ministry by adding Tuesday Morning Meditation, online giving, live streaming of our weekly services, Facebook, Twitter, and E-blast to keep our members connected. We held numerous community events throughout the year to include partnering with the American Red Cross and Greenbriar Mall to bring “Change in the Streets” Tent Crusade offering both spiritual revival and resources for healthy living. The Lord is adding daily to this spiritual body due to the dynamic leadership, guidance, and vision of our Senior Pastor, Bishop Paul S. Morton and our Co-Pastor, Dr. Debra B. Morton who serve at the helm—feeding and directing us, as they are directed by God!
Continuing to build a ministry that would be pleasing to God, we became “One Church In Two Locations” in September 2011 with the addition of a 12noon service at Rhema Christian Fellowship in Decatur, GA. Our Word Explosions were also expanded to Tuesdays and Wednesdays so that we could reach the Decatur and the Southwest Atlanta communities.
Just shy of one year since our expansion efforts began, the Lord blessed us to purchase our own building at 2600 H. F. Shepherd Drive, Decatur, Georgia. On Sunday, July 29, 2012, our Pastor prayed as we cut the ribbon, had the officials to make proclamations, and marched into Changing A Generation Full Gospel Baptist Church/East at 6pm. Changing A Generation continues to grow as a spiritual body due to the constant dynamic leadership, guidance, and vision of our Senior Pastor, Bishop Paul S. Morton and our Co-Pastor, Dr. Debra B. Morton, who serve at the helm, feeding and directing us, as they are directed by God!
After, just 7 years, we can truly say that we have not seen our "Best Days Yet!”