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Our History

November 1949: St. John Baptist Church was conceived in the hearts and minds of a small group of people when they began meeting in various homes for prayer and Bible Study. As the group grew in number, it became evident that a permanent place of worship was needed.

April 29, 1952: St. John Missionary Baptist Church was organized in the home of Bro. And Sis. Robert Hill, 1076 Myrtle Avenue, Long Beach, with the assistance of the late Reverend L. D. Stevens. The criteria for being officially recognized, as a church body was a minimum of twelve members. The Original Twelve were John s. Grigsby, Malissa Green, Willa Connor, Palmer Dickson, Sam Hills, Williams Atwater, Lola Atwater, Rufus Harris, Robert Hill, Jewel Hill, Jennie Mae Whitfield, and R.B. White. The first pastor of St. John Missionary Baptist Church was Reverend S. Noble.

December 11, 1952: St. John Missionary Baptist Church was approved by the State of California as an incorporated body. This incorporation was accomplished with the aid of Attorney Wahfred Jacobson.

January 29, 1953: The first elected Board of Trustees was installed. They were Willa Connor, Rose Jones, Rufus Harris, Thomas B. Copeland, Robert Hill, John Grigsby, and R.B. White.

The first building fund began under the direction of Rev. Percy Williams with each member pledging .00. As the building fund continued to grow, preparations were made to purchase our present site.

March 1, 1953: Reverend Percy Williams was called to be the acting Pastor. At this time, the total membership was approximately 40 people. Rev. Percy Williams served as acting Pastor until he accepted a position as a State Missionary Evangelist.

October 1953: Reverend C.B. Hodge was called to be the Pastor.

July 1954: Reverend Gould Meriwether was called to be the Pastor

July 14, 1957: Senior Choir first dedication ceremony. Sister Estelle Gabriel chaired this program.

July 6, 1958: Entrance and Dedication Services: Members of St. John Missionary Baptist Church marched from 1401 Pacific Avenue into our present sanctuary. Rev. Percy Anderson was one of the individuals instrumental in this endeavor.

Year of 1959: The Laymen’s League was organized whose purpose was to “further the causes of the church in whatever ways possible”.

Due to Rev. Merriweather’s health, he resigned as Pastor. The pastors following him were Rev. John Thompkins, Rev. C.A. Moore, Rev. Claude Evans, Rev. O.C. Jones, Rev. Morris Brown, and Rev. Dr. Ralph J. Mosby, Jr. It was during the ministry of Rev. O.C. Jones that St. John became affiliated with American Baptist Convention.

Year of 1963: St. John became a member of the American Baptist Churches of the Pacific Southwest.

December 8, 1974: Installation Services for Reverend Dr. Ralph J. Mosby Jr. as Pastor.

Year 1975: The Board of Christian Education was established.

November 17, 1977: ST. JOHN MORTGAGE BURNING!! Praise the Lord! The Mortgage Burning Ceremony was a very meaningful experience, particularly for those members who had been here from the very beginning.

January 28, 1979: Dedication services for the Fellowship Hall. The hall was named in honor of the co-founders of the church, John S. Grigsby and Robert Hill. It is now called the Grigsby-Hill Fellowship Hall.

Year of 1980: The property adjacent to the church was purchased for the purpose of expansion.

New Auxiliary: The Nurses Unit was established under the leadership of Sister Ruth Gordon.

Year of 1984: Emphasis on our Inactive Ministry, Home Bible Study, revitalizing our Discipleship Ministry to include a new Member’s Class; Personal door to door witnessing; Deacon and Deaconess have combined their efforts concerning our Family Care Ministry. Enacted was visitor’s stewardship, mission giving goals; and the development of a pictorial directory.

February 1985: Girl Scout Troop #415 was established.

February, 17, 1985: The congregation adopted the following purpose statement: We, the members of St. John Missionary Baptist Church are to do the Lord’s will by loving, caring, sharing, and growing, through the example He has given us".

Year of 1986: Our main emphasis was to plan for growth. We believe that the mission of the Church is to minister in the name of Jesus and as a church expands its ministries it will grow.

March 1989: A “Face-lift” Campaign that included re-stuccoing our edifice and the completion of the parking lot.

1990-1991: Two new ministries were established, the Overcomers Outreach and assistance to the Christian Outreach Appeal.

1992-1993: St. John re-activated Children’s Church, established a new choir: New Voices for Christ, and continues to grow through the grace of God.

September 1994: Evangelism Extension School of the Bethany Bible College of Los Angeles was established at St. John.

February 1996: St. John Missionary Baptist Church official became a “Historical Landmark”.

September 1998: Rev. Dr. Ralph J. Mosby retired as Pastor.

Installation services for Rev. Michael C. Brown as Pastor, was held.

Year of 1999: The Youth Mentoring Program, St. John Praise Dancers and Young Soldiers Step-N-4 Christ Drill Team were established.

Year of 2000: Way Cool Wednesday Bible Study was established.

Year of 2003: Purchase of adjacent property for parking lot; G Phi G (Glorify God) and The ROCK (Righteousness Of Christian Kids) was established.

The St. John Mission Statement
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Outreach and Evangelism
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