St. John Baptist Church - Tuscaloosa, AL

St. John Baptist Church - Tuscaloosa, AL


Church History 

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:

Brother Bell

Brother Marbrey

Brother Craig

Brother Ellis

Sister Minnie Stewart

Brother Andrews

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

Rebuilt 1997

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.


Former Pastor

Reverend W. L. Scott - 1944-1983

Former Deacons

 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