Best Pro-Civil Rights Pastor (2011)

Dr. Warren H. Stewart Sr.

The Book of Matthew tells us, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." Every time we hear that passage of scripture, we can't help but think of Pastor Warren H. Stewart Sr. of Phoenix's First International Baptist Church. A doctor of divinity, Stewart thirsts for righteousness like no one else we know, calling on the powerful tradition of spiritual leadership and social advocacy that's characteristic of African-American churches.

With impassioned sermons from the pulpit and speeches at civil rights demonstrations, Stewart led the fight two decades ago for an Arizona holiday for Martin Luther King Jr. Now, he helps lead the fight against anti-immigrant sentiment in this state, joining forces with Latinos and people of all colors who demand righteousness when it comes to the treatment of the undocumented. In the case of the King holiday, Stewart's "thirst" was slaked in 1992 after years of struggle. Which gives promise that one day, his "hunger" for immigration reform will also be fulfilled.