The St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church was established in 1952 by a group of individuals in the home of Bro. John Young. Sis. Corrine Dickerson submitted the name St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church and it was agreed upon by Sis. Dickerson, Bro. Young, and Sis. Maude Kimble (the newly elected secretary) that this would be the church's name. After the name was agreed upon, Rev. Smith was called to be the first pastor. Under Rev. Smith's leadership, the church purchased the property upon which the first church facility was located. Rev. Smith also appointed four deacons; Cora B. Dickerson, Theodore Vantree, Joe Kimble, and George Vantree.
In 1954, Rev. Weathers was called to serve as pastor. In 1955, Rev. Gates was called to serve as pastor. Under his leadership, the basement of our first facility was erected. In 1958, Rev. Varnado was called to serve as pastor and then Rev. Corbins in 1959. Under Rev. Corbins leadership, a roof was put on what is now the basement (formerly where services were held) and a heating system was installed.
On March 26, 1963, Rev. Willie L. Wright was called to pastor.Under Rev. Wright's leadership the sanctuary was erected and completed on August 29, 1965. After this time membership greatly increased and the church ministries expanded greatly. In addition, an organ and piano were purchased, new restroom facilities were installed, as well as a baptismal pool.This was truly an awesome season of ministry for St. Paul. On January 9, 1982, after over 18 years of strong leadership, Rev. Wright was called home to be with the Lord. His kind heart and great character will forever be missed.
On May 16, 1982, the Lord called Rev. Edward Martin Jr. to serve as the new pastor of St. Paul.Under Pastor Martin's leadership, St. Paul has experienced tremendous growth. In addition, St. Paul was privileged to purchase over 10 acres of land just one mile south of I-80 on Briggs St. in Joliet where its new facility is located. The completion of Phase I (January 07')?of this $3 Million project, houses a 1,000 seat sanctuary, our administrative offices, a children's nursery, and more. Phase II, which will house 8 classrooms, our kitchen facilities, and a gymnasium with a 94-foot basketball court (which will also serve as our fellowship hall), is scheduled for completion by the summer of 2011.
All in all, God has taken St. Paul to higher heights and deeper depths in him.As a Kingdom-minded church, we believe that God has placed us in the city of Joliet for such a time as this and that the best is yet to come!