St. John Missionary Baptist Church had its beginning in 1911. The church as organized on 17th Street and 9th Avenue in a small frame house owned by Mrs. Sara Craft. Services were held at this location approximately four or five years under the leadership of Rev. Lewis. The founding members of Saint John Baptist Church were: Bro. Bell, Bro. Marbery, Bro. Craig, Bro. Ellis, Sis. Minnie Stewart, Bro. Andrews, Sis. Martha Harris, Bro. Silas Mills, Sis. Augusta Mills and Sis. Lula Bradley.
On June 1, 1916 the church purchased Lot #9 on 18th Street, from the Coal Iron and Land Co. with $1.00 as down payment and built a small frame building facing 18th Street. When this lot was purchased, Rev. Robert J. Moore had become pastor. Under Rev. Moore’s leadership, on May 5, 1921, Lots #11 and 12 were purchased for $400.00. An additional lot was purchased for $200.00 on February 1, 1929. The Trustees when the additiional lot was purchased were: Bro. Charlie H. Richard, Bro. W. Fulgham, Bro. Silas Mills and Bro. T. White.
Seven or eight years later, the church was reconstructed and the main entrance was changed to face Tenth Avenue. A cornerstone unveiled in 1929 had the following names engraved: Bros. Silas Mills, Bro. Ben Cook, Bro. Charlie Richard, Bro. Howard Foster, Bro. Ed Cammack and Rev. R.J. Moore.
While building improvements were being made to upgrade the church, Reverend Moore conducted worship services in the basement of the sanctuary for approximately four or five years. The basement was constructed in 1934. Services were also held under a tent while some of the building improvements were made.
In 1944, Rev. Willie L. (Ester) Scott was elected pastor. Rev. Scott was know for preaching to individuals and groups on street corners, in alleys and on porches of homes. Also under the leadership of Rev. Scott, an educational building was constructed with a first and second floor, eleven classrooms and Pastor’s Study. A new electrical and heating system were added. The parking lot was paved, a Radio was established, the Bus Ministry was implemented and the sanctuary was carpeted.
On July 3, 1983, Reverend Roy L. Ferguson was elected Pastor. Rev. Scott was honored as Pastor Emeritus. God has blessed and added to the church growth under Rev. Ferguson’s leadership. Rev. Ferguson has administered the licensing/ordination of approximately ten ministers. Currently, the following are serving as associate ministers of St. John: Rev. Abraham Horton, Rev. Willie E. Coleman, Rev. Deris Rice, Rev. Alfonso Tucker, Sr., Rev. Stevie Jones, Rev. Pearson Miles, Rev. Dominique Thomas, Rev. Pherell Fowler, Rev. Bobby Marks and Rev. Curtis Dennis. On Sunday, July 16, 2006, the following were ordained as deacons: Bro. Timothy Brown, Jr., Bro. Willie Kendrick, Bro. Jack Marks, Bro. Donald Smith, Bro. Leo White and Bro. Rodney Winston. Bro Joe Bean was selected as deacon several years earlier. The Annex Building, as well as the property surrounding the church has been purchased.
The following ministries/auxillaries have been added under the divine leadership through Pastor Ferguson: Progressive Women’s Ministry Deacon/Trustee Wives Ministry Matrons Red Circle/YWA Sunbeams Senior Ushers Ministry Crusaders Usher Ministry #4 Usher Ministry #2 Mass Choir Youth Ushers Youth Choir Male Chorus Brotherhood Ministry Early Morning Choir Mission in Action Ministry Senior Citizens Ministry Christian Education Ministry Couples Ministry Tutorial/Enrichment Program Audio/Video Ministry Transportation Ministry Praise Dancers Ministry Nurse’s Guild Ministry Praise Team Ministry Domestic Violence Ministry
In 1988, the main sanctuary was completely renovated and a fellowship hall was added. During the early morning of April 21, 1996, a wind storm destroyed the main sanctuary. While the Sanctuary was being rebuilt, services were held in the fellowship hall. An 8:00 a.m. Early Morning Service was implemented to accomodate members during the building of the church. The reconstruction of the sanctuary was completion June, 1997. On Sunday, August 3, 1997, the new sanctuary was formally dedicated.
A cornerstone was unveiled during the dedicatory services on August 3, 1997 bearing the following inscription: ST. JOHN BAPTIST CHURCH Founded Early 1900’s Rebuilt 1997 Rev. Roy L. Ferguson, Pastor
Deacons Bro. L.V. Nelson, Chairman Bro. Willie Ervin Bro. Robert Elliot Bro. Roosevelt Gooden Bro. George Foster Bro. Jerome Lewis Bro. Eugene Lewis Bro. Lewis Oakley Bro. George Nevels Bro. Willie Walton Bro. Cleveland Ray Bro. Jimmie Wilson Bro. Booker T. Crowell
Trustees Bro. Roosevelt Gooden,Sr., Chairman Bro. Willie Bell Bro. Julia Calmese Bro. Robert Howard Bro. Cornelius Little Bro. Jack Marks Sis. Olivia Morrow Bro. David Sheffield, Sr.