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St John Baptist Church of Alex St John Baptist Church of Alex

Church History Church History

St John Church History

Early in 1925, a desire to “sing” manifested in the minds and hearts of a couple of young men and women on a street corner. As an effect of continued dedication, the ministry flourished into a house-to-house song and prayer service, which later became the “St John’s Mission.” 

In 1926, after considerate difficulty and several protests, it was evident that God was perfecting His plan for St John. The chairman of the Deacon Board, Deacon David Askew, along with Deacon Raymond and Deacon Holmes, submitted letters to thirteen churches, and the St John’s Mission was granted the permission to be named, “The St. John Baptist Church.” 

For several years, services were held in the Washfoot Baptist Church, which rented for two dollars, located in the 900 block of North Alfred Street, while being shepherded by various ministers and guest speakers. The ministers, Reverend Simms, Reverend A. C. Foster, and Reverend Morton, to name a few, were instrumental in St John becoming a member of the Northern Virginia Baptist Association.

Pastor # 1

God blessed St John in 1934. On an invitation by Deacon Willie Mobley, Reverend J. G. West consented to shepherd, pastor, and lead St John.

Having developed spiritually and financially, the old Washfoot Baptist Church building was later purchased and remodeled. Under the leadership of Reverend J. G. West in 1948, with $8,000.00 in cash, $1,000 in materials, along with a $24,000 loan, St John Baptist Church was built on the corner of North Alfred and Montgomery Streets.

In 1954, a parsonage was purchased for Reverend West and his wife, Sister Lanier West; the parsonage was later sold.

On the fifth Sunday in July 1960, families, friends and supporters witnessed the “Burning of the Mortgage.” By 1964, even after acquiring new furnishings (pews, pulpit and organ), St. John was debt free. 

On October 18, 1963, Reverend John W. Johnson was elected as Assistant Pastor to Reverend J. G. West. Two years later, on March 23, 1965, after more than 30 years of dedicated service as Pastor, God summoned Reverend J. G. West home to rest.

Pastor # 2

In November 1965, Reverend John W. Johnson was elected as Pastor and installation services were held the third Sunday in March 1966. God continued to bless St John through the leadership and guidance of Reverend John W. Johnson.

In 1973, numerous renovations were made: An educational building; a kitchen with a separate dining area; and in November of the same year, the mortgage regarding these new additions was burned. Ten years later, St John outgrew its original seating capacity and chose to enlarge the edifice as an alternative to relocating to a new site. One year later in 1984, the seating capacity increased by approximately 100 additional seats and new furniture was purchased without any indebtedness. Also, a new cornerstone was inserted as part of this addition.

In November 1993, the City of Alexandria finally relented through prayer and supplication, and we were able to acquire the lot in the rear of the church.

In December 2000, Reverend John W. Johnson retired from his position as pastor after over 35 years of distinguished and faithful service. 

Pastor # 3

On October 2002, Phillip L. Pointer was chosen as Pastor-Elect. Pastor Pointer was installed on Sunday, January 12, 2003. 

In the fall of 2005 the St John Baptist Church was combined with the Providence Baptist Church of Upper Marlboro, MD, under Pastor Carey E. Pointer, Sr, Pastor Phillip Pointer, Sr. grandfather. Services were held in both locations until February 2011.

The above resulted in a split with some PSJBC members choosing to worship in Upper Marlboro and others deciding to retain the St John Baptist Church name and remain at 901 N. Alfred Street in Alexandria. The members of the reestablished SJBC conducted their first service on Sunday, February 6, 2011. To provide SJBC spiritual covering and leadership during this transitional period the Lord sent Minister Charles A. Hall, who served as the Minister-in-Charge.

In June 2011, ownership of the Alexandria property was challenged and the SJBC congregates moved temporarily to the Charles Houston Recreation Center in Alexandria during the litigation process.

Pastor # 4

On December 11, 2011, God called, anointed and appointed Minister Charles A. Hall to be the shepherd of SJBC. He was officially installed on Sunday, March 25, 2012.

In February 2012, the judicial system awarded ownership of the Alexandria property to PSJBC. SJBC’s love for the brothers and sisters at PSJBC continued. SJBC stood firm on the Word of God because they knew that God had a plan for SJBC.

In mid April 2012, SJBC outgrew the Charles Houston Recreation Center and moved to our second temporary facility at the Lee Center, Richard Kauffman Auditorium in Alexandria; God continues to increase our membership and we thank the Lord for His many blessings both seen and unseen...for we walk by faith not by sight!


As of: May 2012