Albert Henry “Big Al” Stratton, as he was affectionately known, was born on October 3, 1957 in Nashville Tennessee. As the second of seven children born to Amanda F. Stratton and the late Albert A. Stratton, he attended the public schools of Nashville, Tennessee.
At an early age, Albert developed a love for automobiles, especially cars. By the time he reached the age of 16, he was often known for driving for hours the cars of family members, friends and even neighbors who had agreed to allow him to wash and clean up their automobiles. When questioned about why it took so long or where he’d been, he would simply reply “I was just trying to get the water off of it with a good blow dry.”
As Albert grew into adulthood, he decided that detailing automobiles was not only his passion but ultimately the profession he chose as a means of income. As a self-employed detailer, Albert determined that he could choose his working hours as well as his customer-base. Oftentimes, during the winter months, some family members would tease him about washing automobiles in the cold and even following a snowstorm. For him, it was never too hot or too cold to detail an automobile. As a result of this decision, Albert was blessed to meet countless people from all walks of life. He developed friendships and fellowships that have endured several generations to which he simply became known as Big Al.
Although Albert had a love for automobiles, he also had a love for female companionship in the person of Brenda Cortner. As a result of their mutual love and affection for one another, a bundle of joy eventually arrived by the name of Alquez Cortner.
Albert soon recalled and eventually learned many of the parental lectures and lessons that had been handed to him and his siblings from his parents regarding being a responsible parent. As he had been the recipient of sacrifice, support, and love from his parents, he, too, must reciprocate such sacrifice, support and love to his son. As a result of this, Alquez became the focus of his attention. He, along with Brenda, demonstrated what Godly parenting should be despite differences and difficulties along the way.
In early 2002, Albert pursued the greatest love that anyone could ever seek. That was when he finally accepted Jesus Christ as the Savior, Redeemer, and Lord of his life. It was under the pastorate of his oldest brother Pastor Samuel A. Stratton at the Greater South Baptist Church in Springfield, Tennessee. It was there that Albert was baptized and became a faithful believer in the Body of Christ. Throughout his fellowship with the congregation, Albert embraced the friendship and kinship with friends and acquaintances.
Even more, he made it a habit to share his love and support with each of his brothers in their respective ministries, as well as countless other preachers and pastors. His ultimate love became evident in the lives of his great nieces and nephews and other youth, which became a hallmark of his humility in Christ.
Although we are saddened by his passing, we are confident that, although he is absent from his body, he is present with the Lord.
Cherishing his memory includes his son, Alquez Cortner; mother, Amanda Stratton; siblings Pastor Samuel (Nancy), Pastor Leslie, Darryl, Anita, and Rev. Michael Stratton, Alfreda (Bryan) Wilcox; devoted friend Brenda Cortner; numerous other relatives and a host of friends.