The Time Line
Old St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church was organized in 1905 by Rev. R. H. Drake and was located across the Missouri Pacific railroad tracks one block west of south 8th street in West Memphis, Arkansas.
Rev. M. J. Hardin was elected pastor in 1920 and served until 1927; he left to organize what is now known as New St. Paul M. B. Church.
In 1927, Rev. J. G. Randolph was elected pastor and Old St. Paul was rebuilt under his leadership in 1930.
Pastor Randolph had a vision in the early 1950's to move the Church from its present location (behind the railroad tracks) to 504 South 8th street. Rev. Randolph was a good and dedicated pastor. Many souls were led to Christ under his leadership and teaching. On April 12, 1958, at John Gaston Hospital, Pastor Randolph was called home to be with the Lord.
On August 25, 1958, the Church held a meeting to elect a new pastor and elected Rev. Herman Breckenridge. Although he was extremely ill at the time of his election, God healed his body and he assumed his pastoral duties on November 6, 1958.
After the election of Pastor Breckenridge, the church officials decided to demolish the old church building (located across the railroad tracks) and build a new one. On October 26, 1958, Old Saint Paul Church broke ground to build a new sanctuary. On the second Sunday in June 1959, with Rev. Breckenridge leading the way, the Old St. Paul Church family marched from Beautiful Zion Baptist Church to its new home at 504 South 8th Street debt free. What a spiritual celebration it was! Reverend Herman Breckenridge was called home to eternal rest in March 1970.
In August of 1970, the church elected Rev. George Moore as pastor. Rev. Moore was a loyal and devoted pastor. Many souls were led to Christ and many needed families were assisted during his tenure. Pastor Moore served this church faithfully for 21 years; and in June of 1991, he announced that he would retire on July 12, 1991.
After Pastor Moore's retirement, the Deacons appointed Rev. J. L. Washington, an associate minister of the church, to serve as pulpit manager until a pastor was elected.
After many days of fasting and praying, the church elected Minister Frederick S. Anthony to serve as pastor. He assumed his pastoral duties on September 26, 1991. Under his leadership, many souls have been led to Christ and the overall ministry has expanded. In January 1992, we began to worship each Sunday morning and also instituted a mid-week Bible study. The Sunday school and Christian Education Ministries have grown both spiritually and numerically: they offer both traditional and non-traditional courses. Four Assistant Pastors, a Deaconess Ministry, and a Trustee Ministry have been appointed to help facilitate the multiple ministries birthed during his leadership.
In September 2004, the church broke ground to build a new sanctuary that included classrooms and offices.
The first worship service was held on January 11, 2009: Hundreds of members marched from the old sanctuary to the new worship center singing, "We have come this far by faith". God has brought us from "Vision to Victory".
We thank God for Old St. Paul: she has been declared the Mother Church of all the Black Baptist Churches in the city of West Memphis. Praise God for all the blessings He has given us. Truly, we have come this far by faith leaning on the Lord!