Pastor Stephan was born in Pier Station, Florida to the parents of Madge and the late James Cobbert. He grew up in a happy home as he received much love from his parents and live-in grandmother (Big Mamma). He was called into the ministry at a very young age (16), and preached his first sermon at the New Bethel Baptist Church in his hometown.
After preaching for several years he felt lead by the Holy Spirit, as well as, being strongly urged by Monica to seek a theological education. His pastor at the time, Reverend John T Haymon, of the New Hope Baptist church, took him to the campus of Florida Memorial University in Miami, Florida and from that moment, Pastor Stephan knew he was going to college. He finally moved to Miami with his family, Monica, Ricky, Antonio, and Barry, and started college.
While attending school, he worked in ministry at Mt. Tabor Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of Dr. George E. McRae. Pastor Stephan served as Director of Pastoral Care at Mt. Tabor as he facilitated support groups for people living with HIV/AIDS, the homeless, male & female inmates, and recovering addicts. He served Mt. Tabor until he graduated from college (Magna Cum Laude) and then went on to further his theological education at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia, graduating with his Master of Divinity (M. Div.) Degree in 1997. Recently, Pastor Stephan completed his Master of Theology (Th.M.), degree at Columbia Theological Seminary (2009). He wrote a one hundred page thesis entitled “Reformed Preaching From an African American Perspective.”
He takes pride in being married to his lovely wife, Monica. They are the proud parents of three sons: Ricky (plus their daughter-in-law Danielle), Antonio, and Barry. They are also the grandparents of five grandkids: Zacariah, Anthony Michael, Zahir, Zamaria, and Armani Cobbert. Monica is a vital part of Pastor Stephan’s life and ministry.
She was born in Lawtey, Florida, to the parents of Henry (deceased) and Dorothy Berry, about fifteen miles from Pastor Stephan’s hometown. She grew up worshipping as a United Methodist, but after marriage joined the Baptist church. Monica loves working with children and youth. She has been employed for the last twenty-four years in some area of childcare. She even owned and operated a home daycare while living in Houston, Texas. She also attended Florida Memorial University and has completed all classes required for a Bachelor’s Degree, but has not completed Florida’s College-Level Academic Skills Test (CLAST). Monica plans to continue her education in the very near future so that she can graduate in the area of Early Childhood Education but plans to continue to work for Christian Academies.
Monica has a deep love for the Lord and feels that her primary calling is to support Pastor Stephan at home and in ministry. She is also a devoted mother to her sons and grandmother to her grandchildren. Pastor Stephan knows that Monica plays a significant role in the success he has experienced in ministry. Of course, the credit and glory goes to God. Yet, God has given him Monica as a helper and she has supported him in every aspect of his ministerial career.
They both enjoy spending time together. They share a few favorite hobbies such as: tennis (watching as they haven’t learned how to play), weightlifting, fishing, and reading. They are adamant Dallas Cowboy fans and plan on going to the Cowboy stadium one day to experience a game in person. They also read through the Bible together each year as part of their early morning devotion, and they both desire to be used greatly by God in ministry and service to His people. Pastor’s favorite Scripture is: “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11 While Monica’s is: “I look up to the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord. He is the Maker of heaven and earth. . . . – Psalm 121.