St. John M.B. Church welcomes you!
Sunday School @ 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Sunday Worship Services @ 10:15 AM
Prayer and Spiritual Service - Wednesday @ 6:30 PM
Bible Study - Wednesday at 7:00 PM
St. John M.B. was originally Mt Hebron Church, located in Atoka, Tennessee and owned by a group of Presbyterians. The Hebron church was the only church, composed altogether of colored people and with a colored pastor, that has been in the A.R. Presbyterian Church, as far as is known. Prior to this time, work was started among the colored people of Columbia, S.C., but was not organized yet, and the ministers and teachers were all white so far.
The pastor of Hebron, Tennessee was the Rev. Peter Bryson (a colored man). He served this congregation of his own people many years. The membership was never large. It was reported to the Presbytery that Rev. Bryson was dead and they were asking for a commission to act as a provisional Session to wind up the affairs of the church and grant letters of transfer to members. In reporting the death of Rev. Bryson to the Synod, the committee had this to say of him..."The only colored minister of our denomination. He was a faithful and humble minister of the Gospel and lived a life of great usefulness among the people of his race". Hebron was then purchased and was no longer an A.R. Presbyterian Church; but a Baptist church. This closed a chapter in the history of the Presbyterian church, but in some respects that were glowing with heroic action and service, but in other respects assigning us as a denomination a place on the stool of repentance for having done so little in a situation that needed so much and having allowed that little to slip out of our hands too complacently. Blessed be the memory of Rev. Peter Bryson and his little flock! And blessing on the heads of those who have taken up where Rev. Peter Bryson left off, and are carrying on in the same great Savior's name. Thus is the beginning of the St. John M.B. Church.
In 1879, the Mt. Hebron Church was purchased and St. John M.B. Church was founded by the late Rev. James Simington along with his official board and members. Rev. Simington served the church faithfully for six years and was succeeded by the Late Rev. Robert Mabron who also served the church with great leadership from 1885 through 1917. Some of the distinguished leaders who have served us well are Rev. Winbush, Rev. Gillespie, Rev. John Evans, Rev. H. Taylor, Rev. Scott, Rev. R.B. Johnson, Rev. Charles Watson, Rev. Hudson, Rev Hudson II, and Rev. P.F. Flowers.
Under Rev. Flowers, the church was reconstucted from a wood structure to stone building. Four rooms were added, the choir stand enlarged and the membership increased each year. Upon the passing of Rev. Flowers, we were blessed with a young, vibrant leader, Rev. W.H. Fulton. Rev. Fulton served St. John for 36 years until he become ill and could not serve as Pastor. Not only did St. John gain a wonderful Pastor, but the most beautiful first lady one could ask for, Sis Cora Bell Fulton. They were certainly a packaged deal.
Rev. Fulton was keenly aware that we must grow and not become stagnant. We must venture outside the church into homes, foreign missions, and be exposed to every aspect of Christian training. He was a member of the minister's Alliance and the Dean of Christian Education. He successfully led the congregation and made many improvements to the building. Among these improvements were the addition of more Sunday School Rooms, wall-to-wall carpet, a new cooling system, a new baptistery, new restrooms, pews, musical instruments, a church van, and paved parking lots. In 1985, the dedication of the Educational Buildng and Fellowship Hall marked an epoch in the life of the church. This building was erected for the youth of our church and the community to uplift God's praises. The Educational Building was completed on September 5, 1985.
Most importantly in terms of reconstruction was the purchase of this current property. Rev. Fulton had a vision that we would build a new sanctuary. If only he was alive today........
When a church has had a leader for 36 years, it is not necessary to say that "old habits are hard to break". We prayed that Rev. Fulton would once again return to the pulpit. To see him jump up and scream "yes", just one more time. Sickness has no name or address. The ministry had to go on. Following the illness of Rev. W.H. Fulton, our church elected his son, Pasor Reginal L. Butler to lead our congregation. During Pastor Butler's leadership, Rev. Fulton was called home to be with the Lord.
Pastor Butler was a young man who had bold, bright, ideas and a vision fo the future. He was energetic and had a supporting cast of musicians, directors and singers. Sis. Elanine Butler, Justin, Ahmond and Alexandria were his supporting cast, a part of St. John forever. The scriptures say "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfectingof the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.. (Ephesians 4:11-12).
Relationships take many twist and turns, but God has to be part of it all. Pastor Butler left our flock in 2004. Through much prayer and patience, God sent us Pastor Autrell Williams. Pastor Williams became our leader in January 2005 and carried on the dream that once belonged to Pastor Fulton and Pastor Butler.
"With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all who is above all, and through all, and in you all..(Ephesians 3:2-6)
We prayed to God, paid our Tithes and Offerings, and God gave us this building...Praise God in all things. What God has for me....it is for me...
Construction was completed on this sanctuary December 2006. Our first offcial service was on a Sunday, December 24, 2006. History continues to be in the making.
(Source of Information: Data was researched by Linda Stevens from the late Sis. Mattie Smith & The Sesquicentennial History of the Associated Reformed Presbyterian Church, covering the period 1903-1951; printed in Cinton, S.C. in 1951 pp. 439-440).