Rev. Joseph E. Wells, a Holy Ghost filled preacher from September 6, 1908 was a glorious day. St. John Baptist Church officially became the second oldest African- American religious institution in the Greater Boynton Beach area. The records show that St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church has the distinction of being the first African- American House of Worship (1895).
Alabama became the Church's first Pastor. Rev. Wells ordained the first deacons. They were Cecil Adderley, Sr., Luther Baldwin, Walter Miller, Edward Terrell, and Bishop Thompson. In addition, several ministries were established---Deaconess Ministry, and the Woman's Home Mission (currently referred to as the Missionary Society) to name a few. After serving the flock for ten years, Rev. Wells passed the baton to another Christian leader.
Like his predecessor, Rev. Albert E. Williams was a dynamic leader. The interest in Christian work exceeded all expectations. The Church grew spiritually, numerically and of course, financially. After seven years at the helm, Rev. Williams relinquished the role as Pastor to another strong man of God.
Very much like the ministers who had pastored before him, Rev. David S. Lucus came to the pulpit with a powerful message. During his tenure, the congregation purchased new properties and moved the Church to North East 12th Avenue. The 1925 hurricane caused severe damage to the sanctuary. Because of stress and pressure, Rev. Lucus could not continue to carry out the spiritual responsibility to the Church. After three years of service, health concerns caused him to resign.
Because of limited funds, very little was done to make repairs to the Church. On the eve of the Great Depression, Rev. William Porter became the fourth Pastor of St. John. He served the local community well for seventeen years. After experiencing three hurricanes (1925, 1926, and 1928), there were mixed-feelings on whether to make repairs to the Church or tear it down. Rev. Porter suggested that repairs would be the appropriate thing to do. The congregation unanimously agreed and the work was begun. Shortly thereafter, Rev. Porter resigned to take a full-time position as pastor of a sister church in Ft. Pierce, Florida.
Rev. James H. Harrington, Sr.'s tenure experienced some major changes in the operation of the Church. The congregation established two worship services each Sunday of each month. A strong Sunday School, Baptist Training Union (BTU), weekly Bible Study, and during the Summer, a two-week Vacation Bible School for the Church and community youth became a regular event. He felt that the young people were the future leaders of the Church, therefore, they had to be trained. The old Church building on NE 12th Avenue was demolished and a new structure was built. After a number of years as Pastor, Rev. Harrington resigned and moved on to Miami-Dade County.
In February 1959, Rev. Dr. Randolph M. Lee of Daytona Beach, Florida became our sixth Pastor. Under his leadership, several goals were reached. The many things he did are too numerous to mention in this writing. However, during his tenure, the one thing that stood out foremost was the purchase of properties on North Seacrest Boulevard to build a new spacious state-of-the art sanctuary and Christian School. Groundbreaking ceremonies were held in 1981. On January 29, 1992, Dr. Mack King Carter officiated the dedicatory services for the new building. The membership grew in large numbers and the R. M. Lee CDC was organized.