Name: Rev. Dr. Major Stewart
Leadership Charlotte (LC) Class: LC40
Title/Company: Lead Pastor / Greater Mt. Sinai Baptist Church, Charlotte, NC
Hometown: Muskegon Heights, Michigan
Education: Eastern Michigan Univ – Accounting; California Lutheran Univ – MBA; Michigan Theological Seminary (Plymouth, MI) – MDiv; United Theological Seminary (Dayton, OH) – DMin; Atrium Health – CPE Chaplaincy
Current personal or leadership goals: My current leadership goal is to build on my mentoring skill set. I want to provide more coaching, advising, extend guidance to and walk more closely alongside my team of leaders. Ultimately, my goal is to help facilitate team members’ growth, in both their roles and as individuals.
1. What advice that you would you give to current Leadership Charlotte participants? To focus on being intellectually, mentally and emotionally present for each program day and event. Each activity and program day has profound meaning even beyond time in class together. Try to absorb as much information as you can. As you engage, remember the importance of the relationships you will create and later develop.
2. If you could relive any program day, what would it be and why?
The program day that stands out in my memory is the Healthcare Day, held at the Atrium Health Hospital CMC Main. The Director of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) for all of Atrium’s hospitals was lucidly clear in his explanation of how healthcare chaplains are professionally trained to help patients and families draw upon their religious and spiritual resources to enhance their sense of hopefulness when coping with illness or other painful experiences.
One month later, I was sitting in their classroom as a first semester student taking my first CPE Unit. Since then, I have graduated from Atrium’s Residency Chaplaincy Program and recognized as a Board Certified Chaplain by the Association of Professional Chaplains. As a result, I have successfully integrated many healthcare chaplaincy strategies into how I provide leadership in my community, church, and personal life.
3. What’s a lesson that you learned through LC that has stuck with you and why?I have learned that effective leadership is more than guiding or influencing a team or individual to achieve a certain goal. It includes building relationships, as you give guidance and direction. Leadership Charlotte has changed my leadership style. I no longer pull others along while in front, nor do I push others from behind, today my leadership style is informed by walking beside those whom I am leading; and building relationships along the way.
4. Favorite way to spend a weekend in Charlotte:I like spending my weekends in Charlotte walking through the neighborhood, listening to my favorite playlist, chasing my two-year-old grandson and pond scaping my Koi fishpond. When I get out in the city, I like checking out various areas of interest, especially by the waterways.
5. What are you doing in the community these days? Lately, my focus has been building new relationships and strengthening existing ones through partnering with community organizations with aligned core values. Within the last couple of years, my church and I have partnered with community organizations such as Loaves & Fishes, Atrium Health, YMCA, March of Dimes, West Boulevard Coalition, Room In The Inn for the Homeless, Charlotte Symphony Orchestra (Project Harmony), and the Center For Chaplaincy (Hood Theological Seminary).