St. John’s Baptist really began in the hearts of the people long before its first worship service was held. They held a sincere belief that formal worship and Biblical preaching and teaching were not only God-honoring but also mandated by Scripture. This group agreed that there was a place in our area for a Baptist church with a passion for a time-honored understanding of God’s Word coupled with a traditional worship style.
In February of 2007, a small group began to meet in homes to pray and seek God’s leadership in organizing a new church that would honor Him. The name “St. John’s” was selected to reflect a desire to have a church “where love and tradition unite.” A Steering Committee was formed and went to work to get the church organized. A Federal ID# was obtained and the church was incorporated in a week’s time which could only have been accomplished with the help of the Lord. A Vision Statement was adopted and arrangements were made with Groveland Baptist Church to rent space for our new church. The first service was held on March 11, 2007 with 36 in attendance. At this service, Dr. Joe Roberts brought the message and Rev. Joel Duncan directed the music. (Later that year, in December, Joel was officially voted as Minister of Music.)
We were blessed the next week in securing Dr. Walter Johnson, Dean of Christian Studies at North Greenville University, as our Interim Minister. He became a beloved pastor for us and we were fortunate to have him continue in this position until March of 2008. He was voted to be an Honorary Member.
On Saturday, August 23, 2008, the church held a reception in the Family Life Center to present to the church Rev. Dow Welsh and his family as a candidate for full-time pastor. He preached his first sermon on Sunday, August 24th and was voted in unanimously after the Worship Service. Under his leadership and through his preaching about Jesus Christ, the church continued to grow.
When he became pastor, the church membership was 55 persons. By the end of his ministry at St. John’s in December 2014, the membership was at 85. However, during those years over time, we lost 36 members due to death, transfers out of the area, and some requests for transfer. That being said, with those who have left and our current membership, we have had over 120 members.
After Rev. Welsh's departure, the church was blessed to have our first interim pastor, Dr. Walter Johnson, to serve with us again as we sought a new pastor. The church purchased a 6 acre building site and has been clearing it for construction. An architect has presented a master plan to the church consisting of a sanctuary, family life center, and associated facilities. A funding campaign will begin soon.
On Sunday, December 6, 2015, the church voted Dr. C.F. (Chip) Collins as their pastor. We look forward to what the Lord has for us as we try to faithfully follow Him in all that we do.