The History of Saint John Baptist Church
“To God Be the Glory”
Saint John Baptist Church was organized in 1911. The church was located at 17th St Services Street and 19th Avenue in a small frame house owned by Mrs. Sarah Craft. Worship services were held at this location for approximately four or five years under the leadership of Reverend Lewis.
The founding members of Saint John Baptist were:
Sister Minnie Stewart
Sister Martha Harris
Brother Silas Mills
Sister Augusta Mills
Sister Lula Bradley
On June 1, 1916, the congregation purchased Lot #9 on 18th Street from the Coal Iron and Land Company with a payment of $10.00 and built a small frame building facing 18th Street. During this transaction, Reverend Robert J. Moore had become pastor.
Under Reverend Moore’s leadership, on May 5, 1921, the church acquired Lots #11 and #12 for $400.00. An additional lot was obtained for $200.00 on February 1, 1929.
The Trustees when the additional property was purchased included the following:
Brother Charlie H. Richard
Brother W. Fulgham
Brother Silas Mills
Brother T. White
Seven or eight years later, the church was reconstructed and the main entrance was redesigned facing Tenth Avenue. The new address for Saint John became 1709 Tenth Avenue.
In 1929, a cornerstone was unveiled exhibiting the following:
Reverend R. J. Moore, Pastor
Bro. Silas Mills, Bro. Ben Cook, Bro, Charlie Richard Bro. Howard Foster, Bro. Ed Cammack
While building improvements were being made to upgrade the church, Reverend Moore conducted worship services under a tent. The construction was completed in 1934.
Reverend Robert J. Moore served as pastor of Saint John from 1916-1944.
In 1944, Reverend Willie L. (Esther) Scott was elected pastor. Reverend Scott was known for preaching to individuals and groups on street corners, alleys and on porches of homes.
Under Reverend Scott’s leadership, an educational building was constructed with a first and second level, eleven classrooms and a pastor’s study. A new electrical and heating systems was added. The parking lot paved, a Radio Ministry was established, the Bus Ministry was implemented and the main sanctuary was carpeted.
On July 3, 1983, Reverend Roy L. Ferguson was elected Pastor and Reverend Scott was honored as Pastor Emeritus.
God blessed and increased the growth of the church continuously under Revered Ferguson’s leadership.
In 1988, the main sanctuary was completely renovated and a fellowship hall was added.
On April 21, 1996, a wind storm destroyed the main sanctuary. During the renovation of the sanctuary, services were held in the Fellowship Hall. An 8:00 A.M. Early Morning Service was implemented to accommodate members during the rebuilding of the church. The new sanctuary was completed June 1997.
On Sunday, August 3, 1997, the new sanctuary was formally dedicated. A cornerstone located at the main entrance to he sanctuary was unveiled during the Dedicatory Service the displaying the following inscription.
St. John Baptist Church
Reverend Roy Ferguson, Pastor
Bro. L. V. Nelson, Chair Bro. Booker T. Crowell
Bro. Robert Elliott Bro. Willie Ervin
Bro. George Foster Bro. Roosevelt Gooden
Bro. Eugene Lewis Bro. Jerome Lewis
Bro. George Nevels Bro. Lewis Oakley
Bro. Cleveland Ray Bro. Willie Walton
Bro. Jimmy Wilson
Bro. Roosevelt Gooden, Chair
Bro. Joe Bean Bro. Willie Bell
Sis. Julia Calmese Bro. Robert Howard
Bro. Cornelius Little Bro. Jack Marks
Sis. Olivia Morrow Bro. David Sheffield, Sr.
Reverend W. L. Scott - 1944-1983
Bro. Willie Brown Bro. John Calmese
Bro. Oscar Chandler Bro. E. H. Edwards
Bro. Ervie L. Foster Bro. James P. Foster, Sr.
Bro. James Willis Bro. Abraham Horton
Bro. Walter Jones Bro. Henry McCoy
Bro. Fletcher White Bro. Lonnie Golightly, Sr.
Pastor Ferguson administered the licensing/ordination of approximately eleven ministers.
Under the leadership of Pastor Ferguson approximately thirty ministries actively supported the mission of the Church.
On Sunday, July 16, 2006, the following Deacons were ordained:
Brother Timothy Brown
Brother Jack Marks
Brother Leo White, Jr.
Brother Willie Kendrick
Brother Donald Smith
Brother Rodney Winston
Brother Joe Bean was selected as a deacon several years prior and Brother Darryl Joiner was appointed to the Deacon Board in 2010.
During a Church Business Meeting held, Sunday, February 7, 2016, the following changes were made:
Brother L. V. Nelson retired as Deacon Board Chair with over 40 years of service and Brother Roosevelt Gooden retired as Trustee Board Chair, also with over 40 years of service. Brother Robert Elliott was appointed Deacon Board Chair and Brother Jerome Lewis was appointed Trustee Board Chair.
Also during this meeting the following individuals were appointed to serve as members of the Trustee Board:
Brother Ira Petty, Sister Irene Byrd, Brother Albert Jones
On November 5, 2016, the following were ordained as Deacons:
Brother John Clay, Brother Adolphus Crockett, Jr., Brother Derrick Williams, Brother De’Andre Woods, Brother Cary Ferguson, Brother Calvin Fikes, Brother Eric McIntyre
On March 18, 2019 construction began for a Family Life Center, additional restrooms, kitchen and renovation of existing Fellowship Hall. The project was completed May 2020. Renovation of the main sanctuary began June 2020 and completed September 2020.
Formal dedication Service for the Family Center and main Sanctuary were held virtually, Sunday December 6, 2020.
Due to Covid-19 pandemic, worship services were held virtually from March 2020– March 2021. In person worship services resumed on April 4, 2021.
On April 15, 2021, The Lord called Pastor Ferguson from his earthly home to eternal glory. We thank The Lord for allowing Pastor Ferguson to serve as our beloved pastor from July 3, 1983 to April 15, 2021. Well done thy good and faithful servant.
Reverend Frederick Blackburn, Pastor Emeritus of Holly Springs Baptist Church was selected to serve as Interim Pastor from May 16, 2021 to December 5, 2021.
On November 14, 2021, Reverend Calvin Fikes was elected to serve as Pastor of St. John Baptist Church. Reverend Fikes preached his in first public sermon on October 1, 2017 and served faithfully as an Associate Minister of St. John under the leadership of Pastor Ferguson. He was ordained to as a minister by officers New Antioch Bethlehem District Association on December 4, 2021 and was formally installed as the fifth pastor of St. John Baptist Church on December 12, 2021. Pastor Fikes is a godly man who was chosen God to teach, preach and serve the Lord.
As reflect on the history of our church, we give thanks to Almighty God for the great vision that inspired loyal and dedicated men and women 112 years ago establish this church of worship and we are truly grateful that the legacy of Saint John Baptist Church continues. Today, we are standing on the promises Of God.
Current Board of Deacons
Brother Jack Marks, Interim Chair
Brother Robert Elliott, Chair Emeritus
Brother George Foster
Brother Cleveland Ray
Brother Eugene Lewis
Brother Lewis Oakley
Brother Adolphus Crockett, Jr.
Brother Joe Bean
Brother John Clay
Brother Cary Ferguson
Brother Jimmy Wilson
Brother Willie Ervin
Brother Roosevelt Gooden
Brother Jerome Lewis
Brother Willie Walton
Brother Derrick Williams
Brother De’Andre Woods
Brother Darryl Joiner
Brother Nelson Little
Current Board of Trustees
Brother Albert Jones, Interim Chair
Brother Jerome Lewis, Chair Emeritus
Brother Roosevelt Gooden, Chair Emeritus
Brother Cornelius Little
Brother Jack Marks
Brother Joe Bean
Sister Olivia Morrow
Brother Ira Petty
Sister Irene Byrd