He was educated at Campsie School and the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow.
He was licensed by Presbytery of Dumbarton on 23 October 1832, and was tutor to A. J. Dennistoun-Brown of Balloch, with whom he travelled extensively on the continent of Europe. He served as missionary in the Second Charge, Kilmarnock, and was assistant at Crieff from 1839, being ordained there 6 May 1840. He was clerk to the Presbytery of Auchterarder from April 1843.
He moved to Street George"s Church, Edinburgh on 28 September 1843, on the departure of Robert Smith Candlish to establish Free Street George"s, and continued to serve there until his retirement on 25 June 1879.
He died on 15 November 1886 and is buried near the centre of the northern 19th century extension of Dean Cemetery in western Edinburgh. Their children were-
Anne Frances Stevenson (b 6 June 1854);
John (Robert) Horne Stevenson (b 2 July 1855), Knight of Grace of the Order of Street John of Jerusalem in England, Master of Arts, advocate, Unicorn Pursuivant from 1902 to 1925;
William Black Stevenson, (b 10 May 1862), Master of Arts, minister of Athelstaneford, and Street Columba"s, Edinburgh;
Louisa Hope Stevenson, (b 21 March 1864).
Henry James Stevenson, (b 12 July 1867), Master of Arts West.S., secretary of the North British and Mercantile Insurance Company
Robert Cadell Stevenson (b 10 April 1859), member of the London Stock Exchange.