An unknown author once said, you can't know where you are going until you know where you have been.
It is with this in mind that i tell you some of the history of the Saint Paul First Baptist Church.
One hundred twenty nine years ago 1885 the Saint Paul Baptist Church was organized in Jefferson, GA. Jackson County on Mahaffey Sreet under the leadership of the late rev. Green Hunter, the first pastor.
Twenty years later in the year of 1905 the second building was erected on Oak Street on a plat of land donated by the Dasiman family. The congregation used the building on Oak Street for several years.
Our late beloved pastor Rev. VS Hughey became pastor in 1956. In 1958 the congregation under the leadership of Rev. VS Hughey sought and found the present site of 2 acres owned by Mr. YD Maddox.
The task of negotiating to purchase the 2 acres we stand on today from Mr. Maddox was given to deacons John Johnson, Thomas Martin, L.C. Martin and Robert Sims, who were trustees of the St. Paul Church. So on January 30,1959 they were able to purchase the 2 acres from Mr. Y.D. Maddox for $3,000. Mr. Maddox then donated the sum of $1,000 to the St. Paul Church making the actual cost for the 2 acres the total of $2000.
The land was bought, but funding was needed to erect a building. And, during that time funding was difficult for African Americans to obtain from banks to build churches.
The pastor and congregation gave the task to Deacon Thomas Martin and Deacon Kidd to find funding to build.
They were able to get help from Mr. Morris M. Bryan, Jr. Mr. Bryan was a great and generous benefactor.
He secured the architectural firm and the company to build the building. Mr. Bryan had all of the wood in the sanctuary, the ceiling and columns shipped from Europe.
Ground breaking was held on June 26,1966.
The First Baptist Church of Jefferson shared in the groundbreaking ceremonies with St Paul and gave a generous donation toward the building.
It was at that time Rev. Hughey, officers and members decided to change the name of the church to St. Paul First Baptist.
Construction began September 2,1966 and was completed March 31, 1967.
The members and pastor needed help to purchase the pews and pulpit furniture. The church had part of the money but not all of it. A loan was given to the church by Rev. Roger and Sister Lucille Cooper to help purchase the pews and furniture.
Dedication services were held on June 18, 1967.
Rev. Hughey retired in 1994 after serving for 38 years. He served as pastor emeritus until his death.
A search committee was selected to find a pastor. Rev. Kenneth Kidd was selected to serve in the interim with assistance from Rev. Luther Durham.
Rev. VS Hughey and members, some of whom are no longer with us, worked hard to build what we are enjoying today.
Rev. Hughey bought ST. Paul's first bus, the yellow school bus, that we have used to travel to many places. Before his retirement Rev. Hughey had plans for the fellowship hall and classrooms.
Rev. Marvin Simmons was elected the pastor of St. Paul in 1994.
Under Rev. Simmons leadership the fellowship hall and classrooms were completed.
The bus ministry was upgraded with the purchase of a bus and a van.
A pavilion and barbeque pit were erected.
On July 15, 2008, the T.V. ministry airing the morning services at St. Paul was started on Windstream cable. The services airs each Sunday night at 8:30pm on channel 15.
With the help of Deacon C.D. Kidd, III and the City of Jefferson, in 2005 the church was able to purchase an additional 4 acres of land on the side and in back of the church.
New ministries were organized, the youth choir had 21 members and had their first anniversary wearing their new robes on March 21, 1999.
Rev. Simmons resigned December 2013.
New carpet and pew seats were installed in December, 2013, and January, 2014. A new roof on the church was completed in May 2014.
On February 8, 2014, a search committee was selected by the church to begin the search for a new pastor.
To lead us in the interim we are blessed to have Rev. Dr. Anthony Grandberry as Pastor and Rev. McDuffie, Associate Minister.