Pastor Sutton's Legacy

*Greater MD 1st Jurisdiction

The late Dr. Stafford B. Sutton Sr.

Pastor Stafford B. Sutton, Sr. was born in Independence, Louisiana to the late Deacon John and Mother Justine Sutton during the tail end of the Great Depression. Pastor Sutton is the youngest of ten children born to family steeped in the southern tradition of hard work and uplift. He grew up at a time of harsh economic and social conditions and racial segregation. His parent's perseverance and their belief and faith in God's promises prevailed upon the harsh conditions. Pastor Sutton was schooled in the Saint Helena Parish Training School for his primary and secondary education. He served as the captain of the varsity football and basketball teams. He then proceeded to Southern University of Baton Rouge, Louisiana where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology with honors. He continued his intellectual quest by earning a graduate degree in Business Administration from Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. Pastor Sutton's belief in the power of education led him to further studies at Saint Mary's Seminary and University in Baltimore, Maryland. He earned a Masters of Art degree in Theology. In 2000, he received the doctor of Divinity degree from the Eastern Theological Seminary in Lynchburg, Virginia. Upon the completion of his educational training, Pastor Sutton went to work for the United States government. First, at the Social Security Administration as a Social Research Analyst then at the Health Care Financing Administration as a Mediator before retiring in 1995 after 25 years of service.

Pastor Sutton's spiritual and pastoral journeys began as a young child. He was raised in the traditional ways and means of the "Grand Ole Church of God in Christ". Just like David, the sheepherder, Pastor Sutton, the hog herder, had a "pig pen" experience. This experience brought him to a point of recognition of what the Lord had in store for him. Upon accepting his call after much "running" Pastor Sutton set his heart and mind on saying "Yes" to the will of the Lord. In 1974, he was ordained an Elder by Bishop O. T. Jones, Jr., Prelate of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Jurisdiction. Pastor Sutton served diligently in various departments within the Pennsylvania Jurisdiction including Sunday the School department and the district choir until 1967. He then relocated to Baltimore, Maryland with his family.

In Baltimore, Pastor Sutton began by laboring faithfully at the Spirit of Truth Church of God in Christ under the leadership of Pastor James A. Parsons. He later moved his membership to the Maryland Church of God in Christ under the leadership of the beloved Late Bishop Theodore Robert Young, Prelate of the Greater Maryland Jurisdiction. There he served as a deacon, elder, trustee, and administrator. Not only did Pastor Sutton stay active locally, he continued those efforts within the district and state level respectfully. He served faithfully in numerous capacities including: the jurisdictional choir, evangelism, State Executive Board, among others.

In 1979, Pastor Sutton founded the Columbia Church of God in Christ. Two years later he was elevated by Bishop Young to serve as assistant Pastor of the Maryland Church of God in Christ. After Bishop Young was called from labor to reward in 1986, Pastor Sutton was formally installed Pastor of the Maryland Church of God in Christ on November 20, 1986 by Bishop David Washington Spann, Sr., Prelate of the Greater Maryland First Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction. In 1995, Bishop Spann appointed Pastor Sutton as his Third Administrative Assistant and then as the Second Administrative Assistant.

He was married to the late Evangelist Bertha F. Sutton for over forty years.