The St. Paul Community Baptist Church was established in 1927, when 15 worshippers formed a fellowship at 265 Thatford Avenue, in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, New York. Reverend S.V. Reeves was elected pastor of what was then a small storefront. Twice within the next year, the increase of worshipers made the move to larger quarters necessary. The expansion also required that the Mission receive official recognition from an independent Baptist Church. Thus, on April 1st, 1929, the late Rev. Benjamin Lowry of the Zion Baptist Church of Brooklyn, New York, gave letters to 12 members of the small gathering giving consent to officially organize the St. Paul Community Mission. One of the 12 members of that congregation was Edward Leonard Haywood, who assumed the role of the Mission's leader. He would eventually be installed as the pastor and serve in that capacity for two years.
Due to the rapid growth of the Fellowship, three more pastors would be called to serve St. Paul over the next 43 years. They included the Rev. Elbert H. Hamblin, the Rev. Adolphus Smith and Rev. Johnny Walker. Of these, the Rev. Adolphus Smith was the most notable, having served for a period of 27 years. During his tenure, a worship site was built from the ground up, but was later given up to accommodate urban renewal. The congregation then purchased a former athletic/social club at 1926 Prospect Place and converted it into a House of Worship. Rev. Johnny Walker succeeded Rev. Smith following his retirement in 1965 and served the congregation for seven years.
In 1974, the congregation called to its pastorate, a young preacher, 26 year-old at the time, in the person of Rev. Johnny Ray Youngblood. Of an approximate 250 active members, only 84 met to extend the call to the new pastor. At that time, the annual operating budget was less than $18,000. Over his many years of service to St. Paul Community, the congregation grew from 84 members to more than 3000 under Dr. Youngblood tenure. On October 18, 2009, the St. Paul congregation installed their 7th Senior Pastor in the person of Rev. David K. Brawley. At 40 years old, Rev. Brawley had served as the congregation’s Assistant Pastor for twelve years prior to his installation.
Rev. S.V. Reeves
Rev. Edward L. Heywood
Rev. Elbert H. Hamblin
Rev. Adolphus S. Smith
Rev. Johnny Walker
Rev. Dr. Johnny Ray Youngblood
2009 - Present
Rev. Dr. David K. Brawley
Painted rendering of the Pastoral Leadership of St. Paul Community Baptist Church that was unveiled during our 86th Church Anniversary Celebration in 2012.
l-r (standing): Heywood, Smith, Reeves, Walker, Hamblin
l-r (seated): Youngblood, Brawley