Property, Class of 2020
Anthony (Tony) Stephens was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and grew up with a loving Christian mother, his father having died before he was born. Tony’s maternal grandfather was a Methodist minister. Tony was blessed with a Christian home and throughout his life, God brought numerous godly men and women into his life to testify of Jesus Christ, including school teachers, Sunday school teachers and pastors. Consequently, at an early age in 1953, the Holy Spirit impressed upon Tony his sinful condition and his need for Jesus Christ. He received Jesus as his Savior and through the Holy Sprit’s teaching came to better understand the grace of God. Though Tony grew up in the Baptist faith, this new understanding led him to the reformed faith and to Second Pres. He and his wife Barnetta became members at Second in May 2010.
Tony pursued studies in industrial engineering and textile technology with the Maynard Institute and North Carolina State University. He began his career with the Industrial Engineering department of Leesona Corporation of Warwick, RI, a textile equipment manufacturer. As the United States’ textile industry began to struggle with foreign competition, the Lord opened up a new career opportunity in the industrial and financial institutions security equipment systems. After many years in this market, the Lord gave Tony an opportunity to open his own security equipment systems business which was successful until his diagnosis of cancer, along with a poor economy, made it necessary to close the business. Tony is now retired except for some maintenance and handyman services.
As the Lord healed and opened up new job opportunities for Tony and education opportunities for his children, Tony moved his family to Greenville in 1982. The Lord has blessed Tony and Barnetta with four daughters, four sons-in-law and 22 wonderful grandchildren. Their daughter, Gina, is a recent member of Second.
Tony’s favorite verses are Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.” and Matthew 26:41 – “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”