For almost four decades Rev. Hezekiah Stewart has dedicated his life to helping those less fortunate in our community. He founded The Watershed, the "world's first social hospital" in 1976 at Mt. Nebo AME Church in College Station. The 73-year-old Stewart says The Watershed serves all "races, creeds and colors," providing basic needs for countless Arkansas families. Since 1976, The Watershed has provided 3.2 million meals; gas and electric utility bill assistance for more than 20,000 families; and full-time work for 6,000 and part-time work for 1,500. On January 28, Stewart will be honored at the Embassy Suites for his lifelong work and legacy. The event will be held in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Progressive League of College Station, and proceeds from the evening will help renovate The Watershed's kitchen so the organization can continue to provide meals to the elderly, indigent and homeless. The Progressive League will also be raising funds to acquire land and build a little league baseball complex in College Station to provide children in the community a place to practice, play and grow. Here, Steward shares more about his life and mission, in his own words.
Where were you born and raised?
North Charleston, South Carolina (Liberty Hill Community)
Where did you go to school and what did you study?
Allen University (social science); Coppin State College (technology); and Interdenominational Theological (pastoral counseling and church administration)
What is The Watershed's greatest need in 2016?
Monetary gifts, food, clothing and prayer
What's one thing about you that people wouldn't expect?
My love for shrimp and grits and hoppin' John.
Is there one thing you always carry with you?
My heart, diabetes and other medications, and love for my family
Greatest goal in life?
To do the will of my Savior and make my wife Diane happy with a new house
On your nightstand?
(Back to 7 People You Have To Meet in 2016.)