St John was established in 1944 and originally located in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Sam Parker. Eventually, the Parker’s donated the property on 4400 N. Diana Street (a few blocks north east from its current location) as a place to hold worship service. In the beginning, there was no building established, just a brush harbor (a temporary structure made of small tree limbs and branches to provide shelter for outdoor church services). In 1946, a small, white structure that we still affectionately call “Old St John” was built complete with a small outhouse. Over many years, various pastors were assigned to lead our little country church and membership fluctuated back and forth until 1959 when Rev. Curtiss L. Long became pastor. The determined visionary evangelized and recruited his own brother’s and sister’s and several other large families from the Spencer community into the church. They prayed, tithe, led successful fundraising efforts and dreamed of building a “new-fangled “church. In fact, several of those families and/or their descendants remain faithful lay members and auxiliary leaders to this day.
Over the next few years, the late Rev. Tommy White, Tommy White, Jr., and the beloved Rev. HM and Mrs. Burnett were assigned to pastor St John. Finally, in 1976, after numerous years of raising money through the building fund, construction of a brand new church began at 10413 N.E. 36th street under the stern leadership of Rev. Luverda Hamilton. This modest structure was white brick on the outside with a bigger sanctuary and a pastor’s study inside along with a modest fellowship hall, a small kitchen, and best of all, indoor bathrooms. The membership felt very blessed! The building met their needs for over two decades under the new direction of the belated and adored Rev. J.B. Moore and it grew spiritually and in member numbers.
St John Phase 2
However, by the early 1990’s when the cheery and lively Rev. Johnny Nubine was assigned pastor, the membership grew even more (especially among children & youth), so there began talk of a need for expansion. The call was answered in 1996 when the Adolph Long Fellowship Hall (named after our faithful and always reliable Steward Board Chairman) was built complete with a new kitchen, 3 new bathrooms, a finance room, three classrooms and a new pastor study. Also, a children’s playground, baptismal pool, audio booth and garage/storage facility and marquee was added.
The church continued to grow and develop at a steady pace. All the praise went to God when St John burned the mortgage for the new addition much earlier than anticipated. Therefore, the fiscally responsible leadership, foreseeing further expansion in the future, decided to increase the amount that was going into the church’s savings account. In 2010, that decision paid off when our current pastor, the giving and loving, Rev. Anthony L. Walker, the stewards, trustees and board members gathered together to discuss the possibility of building a new sanctuary. After much prayer and planning, later in that year, another groundbreaking event took place and a beautiful, technology-savvy sanctuary was built that has the capacity to hold 300-plus members. Also included were donated pews, a new pastor’s study, conference room, finance and stewardess room, choir room and new robes, stewardess room, finance room, 4 additional bathrooms, new baptismal pool, media area, conference room, new marquee and expanded parking lot.
Lastly, earlier this year, the men of St John blessed our beloved church with several ongoing projects for the back area including but not limited to a renovated kitchen. They also converted the pulpit & choir stand in the old sanctuary into a fine wood-stained stage complete with track lighting. Plans are in the work to expand the old choir room into a newly-renovated youth room with many additions to come. We continue to grow and continue to use His church to spread the gospel and save souls. Glory to God for He is Worthy!