Reverend Louis Scott Stell, Jr. was born August 13, 1911 in Fayetteville, Georgia, to Louis Scott and Ida Harps Stell. He acquired his higher education and seminary training at Morris Brown College, Carver Bible College, Interdenominational Theological Center Extension, and American Baptist Theological Seminary.
His election in 1968 made him the first Black to serve on the Chatham County Board of Commissioners.
Rev. Stell was distinguished and honored by his fellow commissioners after they elected him the first Black Vice Chairman of Chatham County Board of Commissioners in August 1975, a post he held until January 1977.
He was Chairman of the Board of Commissioners’ Health and Welfare and Department of Parks and Recreation Committees.
Reverend Stell was also Chairman of Chatham County-Savannah Metropolitan Planning Commission, Coastal Area Planning and Development Commission (eight counties), and Treasurer of Southeast Georgia Health System, Inc. (twenty-four counties).
A few of his other board memberships include: Westside Comprehensive Health Center, Chatham County Nursing Home Authority, and Chatham County Board of Health.
Since 1952 he served as Pastor for Bethlehem Baptist Church until his death in 1985. He was very active in religious activities on local and state levels. Some of his activities were; The presidency of the New Era Missionary Baptist Convention of Georgia, clerk of Berean Missionary Baptist Association, President of West Broad Street YMCA Board of Directors, and Trustees of Georgia Council on Morals and Civic Concerns. He is listed in the 1975-76 Edition (the first) of Who’s Who In Religion.
Reverend Stell was the recipient of many awards and citations for his outstanding work with schools, civic, and community groups. He was co-recipient of the Outstanding Citizens Award for 1973 by Prince Hall Masons of Savannah, the 1975 Human Relations Award by the National Council of Christians and Jews (Savannah Chapter), and the 1977 Religious Achievement Award by Morris Brown College Alumni Association.
He was the original plaintiff in the now-famous Stell vs. Board Of Education case he initiated in 1964 and which subsequently led to the desegregation of the Public Schools of Chatham County.
He was always a dedicated member and leader in the NAACP and served as a member of the Executive Board (Savannah Branch) for many years. In addition, in 1964, he was Chairman of the NAACP Education Committee.
Reverend Stell married former Miss Jessie Lee Jones and was the father of three sons, Reverend Louis Scott, III, Larry James, and Ralph Lamar.
Rev. Louis Scott Stell, Jr. is a part of tje Civil Rights story at the Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum.