St. Paul's History
St. Paul was officially organized in 1929, bearing the name of Church of God in Christ under the leadership of the late Elder Earl Sifford. The charter members were: Mother Mary Williams, Brother and Sister Brown, Brother and Sister Ingram, Brother and Sister Freddie McDonald, Brother and Sister Prince Norfleet, and Sister Dora Gates. Mother Gates was our last surviving charter member who went to be with our Savior in May 2000.
Elder Wade was our pastor from 1930-1938. In 1938, Bishop W.M. Roberts appointed Evangelist William Smith to oversee the church.
In 1939, Elder Leonard Spates moved from Beloit, Wisconsin to Rockford, Illinois and became the pastor after his appointment from Bishop W.M. Roberts. Elder Spates began a building fund and later purchased the lot at Rose and Harding for the sum of $500.00. He resigned as pastor in September 1942.
Elder Leonard Spates recommended Elder Lattimore Pearson to assume the pastoral duties. He served as acting pastor from October 1942, until he was officially appointed in January 1943. He served until February 1945. During his tenure, St. Paul purchased a building at 209 Morgan Street.
Elder Russell Mostella served as pastor from February 11 ,1945, until his death in January 1946. Under his leadership, the building on 209 Morgan street was sold in preparation for Rose and Harding. During this time, services were held from house to house.
Elder Russell Mostella name the church St. Paul Church of God in Christ in 1945. During this period until the 1960's we have five auxiliaries and three units. The auxiliaries were: Home and Foreign Mission, Prayer and Bible Band, Sewing Circle, Sunshine Band and Young Women's Auxiliary. The Units were the Sunday School Department, The F.G. Green Improvement Club, and Young People Willing Workers (YPWW).
In 1946, Bishop W. M. Roberts appointed Elder Freeman Guy Green as pastor. Under his leadership, the building at Rose and Harding was completed. The first service in the new building was held the second Sunday in September of 1946. The new church dedication was held the week of September 14-20, 1948.
The membership grew from 17 in 1928 to nearly 200 in 1980. The church became debt free and financially solvent during Elder Green's tenure. Elder Green was appointed bishop of the Fifth Jurisdiction of Illinois in 1966, and remained the pastor until July 1981.
At that time, he passed the mantel to his faithful assistant Elder James E. Washington, a young man: " With a Vision".
Under the leadership of Elder James E. Washington, A VISION THAT SEEMED IMPOSSIBLE BECAME REALITY.
During the year 1982, a time of serious national recession and high unemployment in Rockford, the Lord gave Pastor Washington a VISION to build a new worship center. His vision enjoined building a facility, which would address the mission of building the minds and souls of men and women. The scripture "for my people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge," Hosea 4:6 became the prime motivator for Elder Washington's VISION.
Groundbreaking for the new church was held in May 1986, with Bishop Bennie E. Goodwin officiating. The new building construction was begun in September 1986. By March 14, 1987, the Fellowship Hall was completed and a Victory march was held with the pastor and members walking from he older church at 1502 Rose Ave to the new church at 1001 Wigton Ave. The first service took place in the Fellowship Hall.
The entire building complex was dedicated September 14-20, 1987. Bishop Bennie E. Goodwin, Presiding Prelate of the Fifth Illinois Jurisdiction officiated the formal dedication on September 20, 1987.
In January 1991, Pastor Elder James E. Washington fulfilled another VISION. he dreamed of having a school where children could get a quality Christian education.