St. John Baptist Temple Church
Rev. Benjamin E. Davis, Senior Pastor
EXEMPLIFYING THE POWER OF GOD AT WORK IN OUR HOMES, CHURCH & COMMUNITY
1940 - Present
St. John Baptist Temple was organized by the late Pastor and Founder, Rev. Oliver Wendell Williams. He was assisted by Minister A.M. Turner. The church was located at 214 East 50th Street. Initially there were 10 members, but on the first Sunday in March, 100 people joined.
At first, this spiritual organization was known as Greater St. John Baptist Church No. II, but due to protests from the officers of our sister church, Greater St. John Baptist Church (known as St. John Church Baptist), of which we were a part of from July 1927 to 1940, our name was changed.
Pastor Williams sought the Lord in prayer for a name. On April 9, 1941, he presented the name, St. John Baptist Temple to the official staff and membership. The name was approved and forwarded to Chicago Title and Trust Company for rectification. Installation services were held on April 14, 1941. Zion Temple Baptist Church and Pastor William Cozy along with Pastor W. Louis Petty and the Salem Baptist Church family shared this service with us.
God blessed Pastor Williams with a fruitful ministry until He called him from labor to reward. Minister JL Bachelor conducted the ministerial services after the demise of Pastor Williams. The pastorate ministry was filled by Minister Simeon E. Parker on the 3rd Sunday in August of 1948. Pastor Parker faithfully served the church until he resigned as Pastor on August 19, 1951. Minister Diggs served as the Acting Pastor and was assisted by Minister Monroe and D.D. Rollins.
The congregation petitioned God for a pastor. Reverend C. Milton Newton, Sr., of Beloit, Wisconsin accepted the pastorate on January 7, 1952. After assuming the pastorate of St. John Baptist Temple, the congregation supported his efforts to build a lasting monument of the Christian faith. This “Joshua” brought us a long way, with Christ as his leader.
The Holy Spirit gave Pastor Newton a “vision” to relocate to a larger edifice. Once again the congregation rallied to his support and on September 26, 1956, a motorcade led by the Chicago Police Department escorted and led us to our present home-6154-58 South Woodlawn Avenue. The