IN THE BEGINNING
In the year 1910 by the grace of God and guidance given to Rev. Richardson, the Bryan and Bailey families organized the St. John Missionary Baptist Church. The church was located in the Kenwood area in a building at the corner of Main and Millard Street. The congregation often worshiped with the Jones Chapel United Methodist Church until another building was successfully acquired at Howard and Millard Street. The usage of this facility was limited.
Services were held monthly because there were not enough members to adequately support the Pastor and church full-time. The members carried wood by hand in order to have fire and baptisms took place in the San Antonio River because no baptism pool was available at the time.
The first Deacons were Dan Cunningham, Ben Robinson, John Hall and M. Jackson. Rev. W.G. Merriweather served as pastor between 1912 to 1914. The membership consisted of approximately 50 parishioners. Rev. G.C. Gordon, Rev. TH. Robinson, Rev. Jim Roland, Rev. G.A. Gundy, Rev Cardwell and Rev. E.J. Johnson served as ministers from 1915 to 1940. It was Rev. E.J. Johnson who moved the church to 119 W. Olmos Drive. R.B. Shiner, M. Taylor, M.L. Price and F.E. Marshall followed Rev. Johnson. Rev. E.J. Wilson was called in 1941 serving until the spring of 1954. Under his leadership the church was remodeled and the annex was added.
On September 5, 1954, Rev. J.C. Bailey was called to Pastor. He was a workman and a servant with no shame because his spirit was directed by God’s divine inspiration. For 38 years Rev. Bailey was the spiritual leader of the St. John’s family. He directed the religious education of his membership including Christian Study, Ministerial Study and Missionary Study. Rev Bailey, a biblical scholar, emphasized the religious teachings of tithes, offerings and the development of Christian education for youth. Under his leadership, the church has served in the forefront of the development of the Kenwood Community and the Guadalupe Baptist Association.
MINISTRIES AND LEADERSHIP
St. John Missionary Baptist Church has celebrated music through the Senior Choir, Celestial Choir, Youth Choir, Male Chorus and the Mission Chorus. Educational training has been through the Youth Program, Sunday School, Baptist Training Union and Wednesday Night Bible Study. Missionary work has been through Missionary societies No. 1 and No. 3 and the Brotherhood. Hospitality support has been through the Senior and Junior Usher Ministry and the Culinary Committee.
Rev. E.J. Martin, Rev. A.F. McElhannon and Deacons Albert Green, Johnny Hodge, Ralph King, Leonard Perkins, Travis Bishop, Herman Johnson and Sam Mitchell all supported Rev. Bailey’s Pastoral ministry. After 39 years of outstanding Pastoral care and service, Rev. Bailey retired as Pastor of St. John Missionary Baptist Church in August 1993.
NEW LEADER, NEW VISION
Under Pastor Price’s leadership St. John Baptist Church Youth Ministry was born again. Pastor Price started events like Annual Youth Retreats and Annual Youth out of town trips. The purpose of these new activities was to inspire and cultivate Christian character in youth. Pastor and Sister Kathy Price initiated our first Annual Christian Women Conference. The conference reached in and out to Christian and Non-Christian women. Through this Christian education effort God has inspired and enriched women seriously seeking a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Pastor Price believes education leads to economic empowerment and strengthens ministries working for the Kingdom of God. In 1995, Pastor Price introduced the John Wesley Rainey Memorial Scholarship Program, in honor of his 40+ years of dedicated service. The Rainey scholarship is awarded to youth who go college after high school. Youth attending a four year institution receive a $1000 scholarship. Youth attending a community college a $500 scholarship.
GROWTH AND TECHNOLOGY
In 1998, Pastor Price informed the St. John congregation more space was needed to do the Lord’s work. This resulted in rental property behind the church being remodeled and named the J.C. Bailey Fellowship Hall and Computer Learning Center, honoring Pastor J.C. Bailey. Brother Al Pye gave leadership to acquiring the first five computers for the Computer Learning Center from Kelly Air Force Base. In November 1999, the church purchased 10 new computers, two printers and a scanner. God blessed and affirmed the vision adding Bro. Ronnie Webb to the body with a world of computer knowledge. Bro Webb has updated and maintained the Computer Lab throughout the years.
WE’RE ON THE MOVE!
In June 2005, Pastor Price combined resources with the Kenwood Community Center to host St. John Baptist Church Community Health Fair. The Community Health Fair successfully touched people in the Kenwood community that normally would not have had access to preventive medicine information. In September 2005, God led Pastor Price to form a relationship with the San Antonio Baptist Association. St. John Baptist Church voted unanimously to join the San Antonio Baptist Association (SABA). St. John was accepted as a charter member in October 2005, which Pastor Price saw as God’s favor.
Four months later with God’s blessing, St. John’s relationship with the San Antonio Baptist Association was a reality. In March 2006, St. John was approved to receive a $500,000 loan from the Baptist General Convention of Texas to purchase our current property. The Pastor continued to trust God. The Lord led him to Broadway Bank for another $100,000 that finalized the purchase of our property here at Evers Road, Leon Valley, Texas, 78249.