Sutton was licensed as a minister in 1978 at the Ebenezer Baptist Church and ordained in 1980 by the General Mecklenburg Association in Charlotte, North Carolina. He earned a bachelor's degree from Bishop College in Dallas, Texas in 1985 and a master's of divinity (1989) and doctorate in ministry (2004) from the Virginia Union School of Theology in Richmond, Virginia.
Sutton pastored the First Shiloh Baptist Church in Port Royal, Virginia church for three years, then spent ten years leading the Free Spirit Missionary Baptist Church in Buffalo, New York before coming to Birmingham to succeed long-time pastor John Porter at 6th Avenue Baptist in August 2000.
Sutton's pastorship was marked by an increase in membership and staffing, including the addition of a third Sunday morning service. He served on several community boards and was recognized for his community service. Sutton's term ended amid conflict with some members, however. He resigned on Sunday, October 31, 2010 and formally announced the founding of Living Stones Temple, meeting at Temple Emanu-El. The church later moved to the former Crosspointe Baptist Church in Fultondale.
Sutton and his wife, the former Terri R. Gaiter, have two children: Gabriel Alexander and Treasure Christian.
- Faulk, Kent (October 31, 2010) "Pastor of Sixth Avenue Baptist Church in Birmingham resigns to form new church." Birmingham News
- "Dr. Al B. Sutton, Jr." at sixthavebaptist.org - accessed October 31, 2010
- Garrison, Greg (November 7, 2010) "Rev. Al. B Sutton opens new church as guest of Birmingham's Temple Emanu-El." Birmingham News