History Highlights of St John Baptist Church
St. John Baptist Church was organized in August of 1868. Her first location was at the corner of Washington Avenue and Fourth Street. The Reverend George J. Mosby was the pastor.
In 1881, under the leadership of Father L. Patterson, the church moved to Exchange and High Streets. The Reverend Charles Spratlin was elected pastor in 1885. Reverend Spratlin was succeeded by Reverends M. L. Copeland, Alex Hunt and J. B. Martin.
Under Reverend Martin's leadership the church moved to 55 North Lauderdale. In 1889, Reverend William J. McMichael was elected pastor. The Reverend William Bivens, a cousin of Reverend McMichael was elected as an associate and served until January 1, 1933. The Reverend A. McEwen Williams was elected associate
pastor in January, 1933. At the death of Reverend McMichael in 1935, Reverend A. McEwen Williams was elected pastor. Reverend Williams, an educator, led the church to move into its present facilities located at Vance Avenue and Orleans Street, in 1953. During his tenure many accomplishments were made. A new Fellow-
ship Hall in 1978 was constructed and dedicated as the A. McEwen Williams Fellowship Hall. The Leota B. Ellis Library was established by a bequest from Mrs. Ellis
and officially dedicated on Sunday, November 20, 1988. In March of 1991, after 57 years of complimentary service, Reverend A. McEwen Williams was called home to be with the Lord. In November 23, 1991, the Reverend Robert Williams, Jr. (of no relation to the former Reverend Williams) was elected as pastor. On January 1, 1992, Reverend Robert Williams, Jr., began his ministry at St. John with the yearly theme: "Building On a Firm Foundation." He continued yearly themes which provided a spiritual focus for the congregation as the work of ministry advances. On August 28, 2011, Rev. Robert Williams, Jr. gave his resignation and heeded the call to join
the Connect Church. During the end of 2011, the year of 2012, and beginning of 2013, St. John had numerous ministers to come and preach the word. On Saturday,
May 18, 2013, Rev. Henry L. Key was elected as pastor, with an Installation Celebration on Sunday, June 9, 2013.
Some outstanding leaders who have served the following organizations: SUNDAY SCHOOL: Mr. A. L. Cotton, Mrs. Cliffie Carter Bonds, Mr. Robert E. Mebane, Sr., Mr. George L. Gossett, Sr., Mrs. Marva Gossett Bell, Mrs. Virginia Tubbs; BAPTIST TRAINING UNION: Miss John E. Jones, Mr. W. E. Johnson, Mrs. Essie Fizer, Mrs. Luettry Wade, Mr. Jesse J. Small; NURTURING FOR BAPTIST CHURCH (NBC): Mrs. Garnett Gray, Mr. Jesse J. Small, Mrs. Alisa Y. Gladney-Petty;
MISSIONARY SOCIETY: Mrs. Mollie Fleming, Mrs. Bertha Baskin, Mrs. Bertha Estes, Mrs. Xania Strong, Mrs. Marian Brown, Mrs. Sandra C. Jones;
BROTHERHOOD: Mr. J. B. Miles, Mr. R. M. Casey, Dr. R. Q. Venson, Mr. Clifton Satterfield, Mr. Andrew Henry, Professor Edward Gray, Mr. George Walker, Sr.
WILLING WORKERS CLUB: Mrs. Jennie Simms Brodnax Vance, Mrs. Juanita Turner, Miss Mary E. Boyd, Mrs. Birdie Reed, Mrs. Julia Marie Banks, Mr. George Tubbs,
Mrs. Yvonne B. Green, Mr. Thomas Trass, Mrs. Louise B.Terry, Mr. Clarence Oliver Morgan, Mrs. Virginia Tubbs, Mrs. Leola V. Bond, Mrs. Lavonia DeBerry, Mrs. Vivian
M. Pearson; Mrs. Narcissia Ivy, Mrs. Emma Trass, Mrs. Thelma Warr, Mrs. Marian Brown, Mrs. Emma Trass, Mr. George Tubbs, Mrs. Narcissia Ivy. EVER READY CLUB:
Mrs. Mollie Fleming, Mrs. Lillie Q. Harris, Mrs. Mattie Bumpus, Mrs. Pearl Clark; FAITHFUL FEW CLUB: Mrs. Rosie Bivens, Mrs. Nevada Jones, Mrs. Alberta B. Davis, Mr. Jesse J. Small, Mrs. Emma Jean Ballard, Mrs. Dorothy Lewis, Mrs. Pearline Williams, Mrs. Patricia Gaston, Mrs. Elizabeth McKinley, Mrs. Martha Robinson Barbara
Parks. NEW ERA CLUB: Mrs. A. McEwen Williams, Mrs. Dorothy Venson Warr, Mrs. Carolyn Williams-Gray, Mrs. Ollie Mitchell, Mrs. Joyce Springfield, Mrs. Annette H. Roberts, Mrs. Frances D. Estes, Mrs. Cora V. White, Mrs. Juanita R. Turner, Mrs. Betty F. Chism, Mrs. Johnnie M. Tyler, Mrs. Lottie Spencer, Mrs. Martha Gladney, Mrs. Leatha A. Simms, Mrs. Joyce Springfield-Collins, Mrs. Louise B. Terry, Dr. Gail J. Gossett, Dr. Gloria Pryor-Lewis, Dr. Willie E. Lindsey, Jr.; Ms. Garrie Lynne Gossett,
Ms. Alisa Yvette Gladney, Mrs. Velton McDonald, Dr. Gloria Pryor Lewis.