St. Paul Baptist Church
renowned and aggressive Rev. William L. Baxter accepted the call from
St. Paul in 1931. Since the existence of this church, baptismal services
had been held in the Indian River near the Brevard Hotel. Under Rev. Baxter’s
leadership, a baptismal pool was built. This was a very colorful period
in the life of St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, and Rev. Baxter served
with dignity and honor. Rev. Baxter departed in 1935 to pastor the Tabernacle
Baptist Church in West Palm Beach, Florida. Next came the Rev. H. D. Parker.
Rev. Parker, a forceful, dynamic, fundamental Gospel minister, was concerned
with all phases of the life of his people. He accepted the call to Saint
Paul Missionary Baptist Church in the year 1936 and served until 1947.
During his pastorate, he bagan the remodeling of the church building from
a seating capacity of 150 of 385. As the struggle for progress continued,
dissension set in, and Rev. Parker left in the year 1947 to organize the
Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church of Cocoa. The wife of this renowned
minister received recognition by being elected President of the Women’s
Convention of the Florida East Coast Association in 1941. She served until
her death in October, 1971: a period of 30 years.
looking and moving forward, the Saint Paul Missionary Baptist Church extended
the “Call to Service” to the Rev. G. E. Bradley. He accepted
the call and became the ninth pastor of St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church
in June, 1948. The unassuming, modest, philosophical, and sincere minister
completed the remodeling of the church in 1949. He dedicated the new church,
Greater St. Paul Missionary Baptist church, on November 13, 1949. The
wife of this great minister organized the No. 2 Usher Board, which remains
a stalwart auxiliary of the church today. Rev. Bradley, through mutual
agreement with the church, laid down the scepter in 1958.
on February 10th, the Greater St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church extended
the “Call to Service” to the youngest of her historical ministers:
the Rev. W. O. Wells, Sr., son of the late Rev. O. W. Wells, Sr. of Fort
Lauderdale, Florida. Rev. W. O. Wells, Sr. Is a native of Florida, born
in Miami, He is a graduate of the American Baptist Theological Seminary
in Nashville, Tennessee (Bachelor of Theology Degree) and the Fisk University
in Nashville, Tennessee (Bachelor of Arts Degree). He has received the
honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree from Conroe Normal and Industrial College
in Conroe, Texas. He is married to the former Ann Collins of Cocoa and
the father of four children: Rev. Willie Oliver Wells, Jr., Pastor Oliver
Warren Wells, Annette Olivetta Wells White and Dee Dee Antionette Wells
the leadership and pastorate of this erudite and dynamic minister, the
Greater St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church has recaptured its place as
one of the leading churches on the East Coast of Florida, as well as in
the State of Florida.
Pastor Wells’ tenure of service as Shepherd to the great flock of
the greater St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, much has been accomplished:
initiated a new financial system - consisting of all heads of auxiliaries
acting as a financial board, and the Biblical method of church support
Organized one of the greatest Gospel Choirs in the State: The W. O. Wells
Special Choir. The Chapel and Cherub Choirs were oragnaized by the Pastor’s
The entire interior of the former church was re-decorated.
A complete heating and air conditioning system was installed in the former
A new piano and organ were purchased. The organ is still used in our present
A modern, fifteen-room parsonage was built in 1960 and completely paid
for at that time at a cost of $24,000. The old parsonage was renovated
and gutted to serve as a fellowship hall, housing a kitchen, dining room,
two Sunday School rooms, and the home for Boy Scout Troop 221. In later
years, the building was completely demolished and the church’s Educational
Building now stands in its place.
A 75’ X 66’ parcel of land at the rear of the church was purchased
for $6,800 in 1961.
A 100’ X 75 parcel of land on the corner of Stone Street (formerly
Magnolia Street) which presently houses the church Annex (formerly a dry
goods store and dry cleaning plant) was purchased in 1966 at a cost of
$15,000. The said mortgage was liquidated in 1974. Property purchased
from Harold Shackelford, 405 Brevard Avenue, Cocoa, Florida.
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