Stone, 58, was pastor of Friendship Baptist since 1982.
His death was a shock, said Michael McFadden, a member of the church's trustee board.
"It's not real," he said. He recalled Stone as intelligent, dedicated and a gifted speaker.
"He had a good sense of humor," McFadden said. "He was a very kind, loving man. Not that he wasn't stubborn. What strong-willed individual isn't stubborn?"
Stone was a founding member of the Black Pastor's Conference and active in the movement to rename Logan Street as Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
"His legacy is his belief in fairness, his civil rights advocacy," said Barbara Roberts Mason, founder of the Black Child and Family Institute. "When there was an issue that he thought negatively impacted African Americans - or any other group of people for that matter - he was outspoken on that issue."
She recalled Stone as an outstanding orator.
"He was also an excellent, excellent preacher of the word, and sometimes I would listen to his sermons on the radio before going to my church," said Mason, who attends Trinity AME Church.
Funeral arrangements are pending, said Clyde Carnegie, associate pastor. Scheduled Holy Week services will proceed, including a communion service at 7 p.m. today, a noon Good Friday service and services at 6 a.m., 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Sunday.