On December, 14, 1923, Rev. M. H. Hutchins, Brother Dave Carroll, Sister Mary Carroll and Sister Emma Anderson initiated a Christian fellowship which was examined by the Old Orange Hill Missionary Baptist Association and found to meet criteria, as set forth by the Holy Bible and the Hiscox Directory, for a Missionary Baptist Church. Rev. H. M.Hutchins the first pastor of the St. John Missionary Baptist Church. Over the years, there were three other pastors between 1923 and 1929: Rev. Willis Cady, Rev. G. W. McClinton (third and fifth pastor) and Rev. L. J. Flowers. The first congregation was housed in a wood frame structure located at the corner of 11th Street and Mercedes Avenue, with a more substantial structure being erected at the same site in 1929.
Rev. William Gipson, the sixth pastor, came to the church in 1929 and under his leadership many wonderful things were accomplished. Armed with new hope of receiving revelation for serving in a more responsible and fulfilling way for kingdom building, St. John pastor and the members moved to the newly built structure at the corner of 10th Street and Cove Boulevard in 1934.
Rev. W. S. Drayton, Jr. became the seventh pastor in 1940. A block structure was built and Rev. Drayton participated in the work physically and spiritually. He remained until 1946.
The eighth pastor was Rev. T. J. Jones who remained from 1946 until 1952.
In 1952 he was succeeded by Rev. L. P. Davis, Sr. as the ninth pastor of St. John Baptist church. During Rev. Davis' tenure of office, a basement was partitioned for Sunday school rooms, pews and runners were placed in the sanctuary; a baptismal pool was placed in the lower unit and two houses adjacent to the church property were acquired.
Rev. Jackson E. Jones, the tenth pastor, came to the church on January 17, 1964. In his tenure of pastoral service the internal structure of the church was reorganized and the church building was completely remodeled and additional property was secured.
Under Pastor Jackson E. Jones leadership along with the Deacons and the building fund chairman, and the building committee, the plan for the present church building matured. On April 12, 1987 the ground-breaking ceremony was held and the actual construction commenced the following week. September 20, 1987 the church marched from the old church building into the new church facility. The actual dedication of the new edifice was held November 8, 1987. Nearly two years after moving into the new sanctuary, Pastor Jones went home to be with the Lord bringing to a close almost twenty-six years of dedicated services to the membership to this community.
Rev. James B. Hamilton served as the church's interim pastor from October 1989 to February 1991. The church continued on a progressive trend remaining solvent and acquiring additional property.
Rev. Bernard Blount was called as the eleventh pastor of the St. John Baptist in April 5, 1991 and served until January 5, 1992. In his tenure several organizational changes were made and the church became aligned with the National Baptist Association.
Dr. Rory L. Bedford became the twelfth pastor of St. John Missionary Baptist Church on August 19, 1992. During his tenure of service, the previously owned parsonage was sold and a new parsonage was purchased. The church mortgage was retired early in August 1997; a van for purchased for church transportation and additional property was acquired. Also, the mid-week prayer service and Bible study took on a greater significance. Dr. Bedford's tenure of service ended August 2000.
Rev. Delwynn G. Williams was called as the thirteenth pastor of St. John Baptist Church on May 4, 2001. Under the leadership of Pastor Williams, St. John has experienced tremendous growth economically and membership has increased to 1,000 plus members. Two vans have been purchased and a balcony was added to accommodate church growth in discipleship. The office complex has been remodeled, adding a conference room and a copy room. Other renovations include the vestibule, the pulpit area has been extended and the décor of the church also changed.
In 2003, through Pastor Williams' vision, his ministry expanded through television broadcast on two local stations. New media equipment, a new sound system and a camera, has been installed in the church. In addition, properties were purchased at 1209 E. 11th Street, 1019 Louisiana Avenue, 1006 MLK Jr. Blvd., and 1021 Louisiana Avenue. A Tuesday noon-day "Bible Power Hour" has been instituted and the organizational structure of the church has been changed to over ten ministries to include other ministries within a ministry.
On May 22, 2004, St. John Baptist Church celebrated the arrival of a newly purchased 49 passenger coach in prelude to Pastor Delwynn G. Williams' third anniversary. September 11, 2004 brought the arrival of the 2nd passenger coach seating 53. We are presently in the preparation and process of building a 38,000+ square feet Multi-Purpose Facility! For the building of the Kingdom! The best is yet to come!