Our Church History

In December of 1945, God blessed Mr. Samuel Hodge and Mrs. Mabel Hodge to open up their home (At 105 Sunset Ave in San Jose, California) to be the beginning of Saint Paul Missionary Baptist Church. Initially, the group met and organized a prayer band. It was named the St. Paul Baptist Church, by the Reverend Ronald Foreman. Reverend Johnson and Reverend Leonard Perry were also Pastors for a short time and the group was without adequate Pastoral Leadership, and gradually members of the Church began to drift away. However, four members of the Church  stayed together and prayed for a spiritual leader to keep a Baptist church in the area. They were Mr. Samuel Hodge, Mrs. Mabel Hodge, Mr. Nathan West and Mrs. Hattie West. They heard about Reverend J.D. Houston, a member of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Redwood City, California. Reverend J.D. Houston and his wife, Mrs. Sallie Houston, moved to San Jose and became the New Pastor and Wife, on Sunday 10, 1955.
 
The first Church service was held on Sunday October 30, 1955. Almost a year later, Pastor J.D. Houston found 2.5 acres of land on E. San Antonio Street with a five room house. It was purchased for twenty two thousand five hundred dollars ($22,500.00) with a down payment of seven hundred dollars ($700.00). In 1966 St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church broke ground on August 16th. In 1967 the congregation marched from 2192 Lausett Avenue to 1930 E. San Antonia Street, singing we’re marching to Zion. Thank God for bringing us this far by faith!
 
Under divine inspiration of the Lord, Pastor J.D. Houston accomplished many things: 1963-complete set of church furniture; 1968-the cornerstone was laid by Harris lodge local#16; 1982-J.D. Houston scholarship fund was established. Many of these dynamic young people have gone on to be preachers and outstanding church workers throughout California. Those who were called to preach were affectionately referred to as “The Sons of Thunder.” 1980-Sister Brenda Arnold (formerly Goodie) was the 1st place winner of the National Baptist Convention USA, Inc. National Oratorical contest. Because of our fine coaches such as Sisters Yvonne Chambers and Theresa Ortega, many went on to compete at the National and State level. Rev. Houston and the St. Paul Church were very well known in the District, State and National. In 1983-St. Paul burned the Mortgage on March 20, less than 20 years after the purchase of the property. Thank you Lord for all that you have done and will do! From 1993-1997, many special contributions were given to Pastor Houston by his Sons and Grandsons in the ministry
 
On March 2, 1998, after serving 43 years as Pastor of Saint Paul Missionary Baptist Church, Pastor Houston resigned to take care of is wife, Sister Sallie Houston who became critically ill and eventually went on to be with the Lord. On April 4, 2007, our beloved Pastor Emeritus Reverend J.D. Houston soon followed. His legacy is remembered and still continues in the hearts of those who knew him.
 
On July 6, 1999 Reverend York Hayes, one of the Sons of Thunder was called as Pastor of the Saint Paul Missionary Baptist Church. He humbly accepted, with his wife, Sister Bobbie Hayes. Pastor York Hayes is a man with a Godly vision many organizational skills. Under the leadership, the following has been accomplished: 1) formed a praise & worship team, 2) ordained four additional Deacons and completed the training of the Deacons, 3) Set up a new financial system for the church and several capital improvements, 4) Bible Study attendance increased tremendously. He encouraged the membership to read and study God’s Word, to share the gospel and disciple others. Pastor Hayes frequently says; “You must have faith to accomplish your dreams,” 5) Reactivated the Building Fund with plans to renovate the Sanctuary and Education facility (Phase I, II, and III), 6) Set a goal to raise $100,000.00  which was exceeded in two years, and 7) St. Paul ground breaking ceremony took place on July 9, 2006 (Phase I) Reverend J.D. Houston proudly in attendance. In February 2007-Phase I construction started. For seven months, worship services was held at Cesar Chavez Elementary School. Ministry meetings were held in various homes, other services were held at Friendship COGIC and True Vine Baptist Church. St. Paul will forever be grateful for the two Churches who opened their doors to help St. Paul! On October 28, 2007 completion of phase I was done. St. Paul marched back singing “We’ve Come This Far By Faith” Pastor Hayes and San Jose City Councilman Mr. Forrest Williams.  The Family “Partnership Ministry was formed (an idea submitted by Sister Roszene Anderson) to work with all ministries of the church and help obtain funds to complete Phases II and III. On August 3, 2016, during the Church business meeting Dr. York Hayes announced his retirement. He officially retired on November 3, 2016.
 
On July 1, 2018 we welcomed our Transitional Pastor, Dr. Fred Campbell, who alongside the Church Ministries and Pastor Search Committee guided the congregation in giving, prayer, and how best to move forward the church’s ministry and how to prepare for our future under the direction of the new Pastor. The new Pastor search was commenced and the church was excited to see God at work in this process each step of the way.
 
On April 24, 2019 St Paul was blessed to call Maurice M. Harris, Sr. as Pastor.