Pastor Sterling has been a pastor in the African Methodist Episcopal church for nineteen years. His first thirteen years were served at his first pastoral charge, which began in November 1997 at Saint Stephen AME Church (Airport) in Birmingham, Alabama. Currently, he is the pastor of Saint Paul AME Church (Smithfield). He serves as a contract chaplain at the UAB Health System, Department of Pastoral Care. While studying at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama, he served as a teaching assistant to Dr. Patricia A. Outlaw, an associate professor of divinity in the areas of Pastoral Counseling and Spiritual Formation. He has also filled in for Dr. Lyle Dorsett, Professor at Beeson Divinity School, in the area of Church Growth and Evangelism. Currently, he serves as a Ministry Reflection Group leader at Beeson. Pastor Sterling was the recipient of the Pastoral Ministry Award for the 2007-2008 graduating class of Beeson Divinity School by a vote of the Faculty. Most recently, he received the Beeson Divinity School Master of Divinity Distinguished Alumnus of the Year award. As a member of the 9th Episcopal District of the AME Church’s Board of Examiners, he serves as a second-year studies instructor.
Pastor Sterling completed his Doctor of Ministry in 2014. His dissertation, “A Call for Authentic Christian Leadership in the Church: The Role of Discipleship and Spiritual Formation Training addresses the importance of selecting congregational leaders according to biblical criteria and the necessity of discipleship and spiritual formation training as a means of assisting them to become effective spiritual leaders.
He has a love and passion for all members of the body of Christ but finds himself ministering a lot to young couples. In addition, the Lord has blessed him to take on the awesome responsibility of being a spiritual father to many of our hurting and fatherless young males in the community. Many of them have given up their worldly life to become warriors in God’s kingdom. He and his wife, Kim, have been married for 43 years, and they are the parents of three adult children and the grandparents of seven grandchildren.