Over a Century of Leadership & Service
Through the systematic teaching of a practical faith message, St Paul Baptist Church is committed to seeing the salvation of the city through the regeneration of the mind and the sanctification of the body. Thus, by equipping and training men and women to live lives of purpose and power, we will build the Kingdom of God.
Building Believers to Build the Kingdom.
In the beginning, out of nothing, God created!
1879 – 1960
Jackson and Concord
The formal organization of the St. Paul Baptist Church occurred in a house on Johnson Avenue, at the corner of what would become Jackson and Concord Ave. From this modest location on May 2, 1879, an abstract deed for the house site of St. Paul Baptist Church issued to Robert Hall, Jacob Walker, and Harrison Myles as trustees of the Church. The first fifteen members besides the trustees were Henry Carpenter, Leanna Austin, Annie Carpenter, Ellen Strong, and a Sister Burns. The Reverend John B. Roberts was called to pastor the church, and in 1887 he laid the foundation of the Church. Following his death, his successors were Reverend Simon J. Hunt of Trenton, Tennessee; Rev. John H. Roberts, from Sherman, Texas; Rev. J. B. Woods, former pastor of Middle Baptist Church and Dr. A.L. Hall, pastor of a neighboring north Memphis church.
In 1915, Rev. R. B. Roberts was called to pastor the St. Paul Baptist Church. Rev. R. B. Roberts was the nephew of the St. Paul’s first pastor, Rev. John B. Roberts, and he was also the brother of former St. Paul’s pastor, Rev. John H. Roberts. Successfully pasturing the St. Paul Baptist Church for more than twenty years, Rev. R. B. Roberts cleared the church of all indebtedness and rebuilt the church in brick after the fire in 1931, and he also left this church clear of debt.
In 1937, after the death of Rev. R. B. Roberts, Rev. J. J. Tillman was called to pastor the church.
In 1940, Rev. A. R. Williams was called to pastor St. Paul Baptist Church. He, too, emphasized Christian education, and he continued to enhance the physical structure of the church begun by Rev. Tillman. He pastored St. Paul Baptist Church for fifteen (15) years.
In 1955, Rev. Samuel Herring, Sr. was called to pastor the St. Paul Baptist Church. Under his pastorate, the church moved from the Concord and Jackson location to its location at 1144 East McLemore.
1960 – 2007
1144 East McLemore Ave
During Dr. Herring’s tenure new auxiliaries were added, the building was renovated, and properties from James Street to Greenwood, including a house on McLemore, were purchased. He served as pastor for thirty years until his departure in 1985.
In 1986, Rev. Lawrence Barksdale, Sr. was called to pastor St. Paul Baptist church. During his tenure of two years, he provided stability through unsettling times.
In the year, 1989, Rev. Rickey Bernard Harvey was called to pastor the St. Paul Baptist Church. He served the church for nine years.
In the year 2000, Dr. Christopher B. Davis, Sr. was called to pastor the St. Paul Baptist Church. In 2006, after collective prayer, the Church embarked on its first capital stewardship campaign, aptly titled “Faith Forward”.
2007 – Present
2124 East Holmes Road
In June 2007, the Church purchased and moved into the former home of Boulevard Baptist Church at 2124 East Holmes Road, which included sanctuary, education building and 15 acres of land. Presently, the church is focused on liquidating the current indebtedness in order to launch another phase of construction which will include a new lobby and foyer area, complete with bookstore and coffee shop, a new gym/fellowship hall, a new children’s area and the addition of an elevator in the existing facility.
FAITH. THROUGH. WORKS.
Under the leadership of Rev. Christopher B. Davis, the St. Paul Baptist Church has embraced the concept of doing and achieving from the words above from the poet, Henry Wardsworth Longfellow. Since he has assumed the mantle of pastor of this church, he has inspired his membership to embrace God’s vision for this church- “Seeking the Salvation of the City.”