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In 1927, Mrs. Tarrah Lee Wells began prayer meetings in her home in Yamato, a small community in Boca Raton. From these prayer meetings, a church emerged. In 1929, Saint Paul Missionary Baptist Church was born. Bro. Gerald Wells suggested Saint Paul Missionary Baptist Church as the name for the church. Services were held in Brother and Sister Well’s home until 1932. Church membership increased, and a small church was built next door to the Wells’ home. Rev. Butler was named Pastor. Under his pastorate, the following deacons were named to the Board: Tommy Goddard, Hezekiah Munnings, Lee Mathis and Mr. Rogers. Deacon Lee Mathis is remembered by many as the ringer of the church bell that was like a time clock. It signaled the time for services to begin. On the death of Rev. Butler, circumstances beyond the members control led them to hold services in the home of Deacon Tommy Goddard still in Yamato. Services were held twice a month. Brother and Sister Wells and Brother and Sister Stubbs held the first Christening Ceremony. 

1942 – 1949 

In 1942, the church moved to Delray Beach, Florida. The new Pastor was Rev. Adams. He was killed in a train accident on his way to a Church Conference. He served until his death and the church called Rev. Beasley. Rev. Beasley served as pastor until 1949. Rev. Andrew Ferguson was the Assistant Pastor and Adult Sunday School teacher. Services were held on the second and fourth Sundays. The Deacon’s Board included: Deacon Tommy Goddard, Deacon Charlie Knowles, Deacon Pinder and Deacon Jordan. Sis. Ella Hunt was Church Clerk until her death when Sister Lillian Thomas became the clerk.


Pastor Howard B. Barr, Jr

Saint Paul Missionary Baptist Church

1949 – 1959 

In 1949, Rev. Lawrence became Pastor of Saint Paul Missionary Baptist Church. Rev. Lawrence held services on the First and Third Sunday. Other Sundays he held services at his church in Hobe Sound. Under his pastorate came additions to the church that included a social hall. The wooden building sitting high on blocks with a steeple and a bell tower still remained. Rev. Lawrence ordained Bro. Pinder, Bro. Knowles, and Bro. Winston Keys. Bro. E.d. Odom was chairman of the Deacon’s Board. Church services were still being held twice a month. Rev. Lawrence also organized a choir. Choir members were Annie Stewart, Della Newman Mansfield, Lucy Ferguson Hunt, Daisy Thomas Kerbo, Constance McGriff Dent, Minnie Goddard, Deacon Charlie Knowles, and Deacon Pinder. 


1959 – 2007 

Rev. Lawrence left Saint Paul Missionary Baptist Church and organized Jordan Baptist Church. The church then called pastor Rev. J.W.H Thomas Jr. Under his pastorate, church services increased from bi-monthly to weekly and have remained that way to the present. Under the leadership of Rev. Thomas, membership continued to grow. During his pastorate, a violent storm made the church uninhabitable and services were held in the Seventh Day Adventist church at 143 NW 6th avenue for six months. Church members were extremely hospitable. Since then the church has gone through major renovations and additions.  On June 30,  2007 Rev. Thomas retired as pastor of Saint Paul Missionary Baptist Church; leaving behind his legacy of Pastoring for 47 years.  February 28, 2008 he went home to be with the Lord. 



On June 11, 2007, Reverend Dr. Howard B. Barr, Jr. was chosen as Pastor Elect of Saint Paul Missionary Baptist Church. Rev. Dr. Howard B. Barr, Jr. was ordained and installed, becoming the sixth official Pastor of Saint Paul Missionary Baptist Church on July 22, 2007.  


saintpaul missional baptist church history

Rev Howard B. Barr

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