Saint Paul Baptist Church had its humble beginning in 1947, in a tent in the 200 block of SW 42nd Street and Prosperity Drive. The church was organized by Rev. J. A. Williams. The tent was located on a lot that was donated by Mr. Ike Meader for the purpose of building a church. Meader stipulated that St. Paul build the church by paying cash for its construction and that it be completed in a specified period of time. Rev J. A. Williams conferred with Rev. Herbert Johnson and the members regarding the project. Rev Williams resigned in favor of Rev. Hubert L. Johnson (1947-1948) to give the church leadership.
Rev. Johnson worked to build the church but his efforts were unsuccessful. As a result, he resigned to allow his uncle, Rev. M. M. Williams (1948-1958) to assume the pastoral position and the challenge to build the new church.
Rev. Williams tried to convince Meader to build the church and allow the members to finance it through installment notes. Meader was indifferent to the idea and insisted the church had to be built by paying cash in full. In 1951, Rev. Williams called a meeting and a decision was made to buy a house and move from the lot. A house was purchased from Mr. Ben Nathan located at 319 Estrella Street. Church services began in the house and the membership began to increase.
On October 14, 1958, Rev. Z. H. Ranney (1958-1962) was called to pastor the church. Rev. Ranney did an outstanding job. The church grew in membership, deacons, finances, equipment and supplies. Rev. Ranney’s pastoral tenure at St. Paul was three years and eight months and he resigned in July 1962.
On August 19, 1962, Rev. Sherman H. Bedford, Sr., (1962-2003) was called to the pastorate. After a few months of leadership at St. Paul, Rev. Bedford saw the membership increase rapidly. Since the current location was not large enough to house the membership, Rev. Bedford suggested buying some lots at 329 SW 41st Street. Sensing urgency and seeing the future of St. Paul, Rev. Bedford recommended that a new church be built as soon as possible. The church building was completed July 28, 1963. The church family marched by candlelight to 329 SW 41st Street; where the church stood. Rev. Bedford’s motto was, “Except the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who built it.” On August 31, 2003, our beloved pastor retired after forty-two years of faithful service to God’s children.
On October 6, 2004, the church held a special meeting to elect one of three nominees for pastor. Kennith G. Rogers, received the majority of the votes, and on Sunday, October 7, 2004, Minister Rogers was given a letter which stated “after much prayer and being led by the Holy Spirit, the members of our congregation feel that you are God’s choice as Shepherd of this flock.” Minister Rogers stated his appreciation and thanks for the offer and his acceptance of the same. He asked for the church’s sincere prayers that our labor together may be richly blessed by the Lord and further the Lord’s kingdom.
Pastor Rogers’s installation service was held on Sunday, December 12, 2004 with Dr. Howard Anderson, Pastor of Coliseum Park Baptist Church delivering the installation message. After the installation service, Pastor Rogers began an aggressive agenda and initiated many necessary church building improvements by getting the needed facility upgrade work done.
Knowing much about the seventy year legacy of the church, we know that prayer is our greatest resource and recourse. In June 2014, under the leadership of Senior Pastor Rogers and E. G. Construction Company the construction of a state-of-the art facility was begun using the architectural drawings of Powers Goolsby Architects on the property situated at Estrella and SW 41st Street. A “Temporary Certificate of Occupancy” was granted by the City of San Antonio on August 3, 2017. The inaugural worship service was August 13, 2017. “Look where the Lord has brought us.” TO GOD BE THE GLORY!