St. Paul Community Baptist Church
Thursday, December 12, 2013
The St. Paul Community Baptist Church was established in 1927, when 15 worshippers formed a fellowship at 265 Thatford Avenue, in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, New York. Reverend S.V. Reeves was elected pastor of what was then a small storefront. Twice within the next year, the increase of worshippers made the move to larger quarters necessary. The expansion also required that the Mission receive official recognition from an independent Baptist Church. Thus, on April 1st, 1929, the late Rev. Benjamin Lowry of the Zion Baptist Church of Brooklyn, New York, gave letters to 12 members of the small gathering giving consent to officially organize the St. Paul Community Mission. One of the 12 members of that congregation was Edward Leonard Haywood, who assumed the role of the Mission's leader. He would eventually be installed as the pastor and serve in that capacity for two years.
Due to the rapid growth of the fellowship, three more pastors would be called to serve St. Paul over the next 43 years. They are: Rev. Elbert H. Hamblin, Rev. Adolphus Smith and Rev. Johnny Walker. Of these, the Rev. Adolphus Smith was the most notable, having served for a period of 27 years. During his tenure, a worship site was built from the ground up, but was later given up to accommodate urban renewal. The congregation then purchased a former athletic/social club at 1926 Prospect Place and converted it into a House of Worship. Rev. Johnny Walker succeeded Rev. Smith following his retirement in 1965 and served the congregation for seven years.
In 1974, the congregation called to its pastorate, a young preacher, 26 year-old Rev. Johnny Ray Youngblood. Of an approximate 250 active members, 84 met to extend the call to the new pastor. Over his many years of service to St. Paul Community, Rev. Dr. Johnny Ray Youngblood saw the growth of the congregation of 84 members blossom to over 3000. In 2007, Dr. Youngblood tenured his retirement and asked the SPCBC congregation to welcome Rev. David K. Brawley, St. Paul’s able assistant pastor since 1995, as the church’s successor as Senior Pastor.