SJBC - St John Baptist Church Church Building
  St John Baptist Church  
About Us


  • 1970 – American Baptist Convention assigned Rev. Walter Long to the staff of the Columbia Cooperative Ministry. Five families (Tom and Bernice McGowan, William and Pinnie Ross, Quinton and Eleanor Shelton, Llewellyn and Sadie Woolford, Edward and Mildred Young) began to hold founding and organizational meetings that would lead to the formation of the Church of St John the Evangelist – Baptist, aka, St John Baptist Church.

  • 1970 – ―The Concerned Black Citizens of Columbia (CBCC),‖ a group led by Clarke Gordon, worked to help assure the appointment of an African American minister as leader of the new church and supported the appointment of Rev. Walter Long to that position.

  • Over the next year, a number of other families also participated in efforts to organize and found St John Baptist Church.

  • March 7, 1971—Rev. Walter Long preached the first worship service held at Wilde Lake Interfaith Center. More than 100 Columbians and friends attended that service.

  • February 16, 1972 - Rev. C. Glenn Orr, Associate Secretary of the Parish Development Division of the American Baptist Home Mission Society preached the charter sermon. Seventy-two Christians were inducted as charter members of the emerging St John Baptist Church.

  • May 2, 1993 –Rev. Dr. Robert Turner was installed as Pastor, where he continues to serve.

  • Summer 1993 - Rev. Turner led the effort to revise the church’s mission statement and the development of a vision statement for the church.

  • 1996-1997 – The Mentoring Program received a $190,000 grant from the Dept. of Justice to expand its mentoring services. Barbara Miller was named Program Director and Carol Turner was named Program Coordinator. The Mentoring Program was awarded the 1997 ―Mentoring Program-Herculean Award‖ by the Maryland State Mentoring Resource Center and the 1997 Maryland State Governor’s Citation.

  • Nov. 1, 1997—St John Baptist Church ended its lease with the Wilde Lake Interfaith Center, and moved its headquarters to 8910 Old Annapolis Rd., Columbia, MD.

  • Nov. 1997 – Feb. 1998 – Worship services were held in Atholton High School while the interim sanctuary at 8910 Old Annapolis Rd. was being prepared for Sunday services.

  • Feb. 15, 1998 – St John Baptist Church held its first worship service at 8910 Old Annapolis Rd, Columbia, MD.

  • 1999-2000 – The Mentoring Program received the ―Excellent in Mentoring 2000‖ award from the MD State Mentoring Resource Center and the Governor’s Citation for Achievement.

  • 1999 - Church began offering two Sunday worship services with three worship styles: 8:00 a.m. (traditional service) and 10:45 a.m. (blended and contemporary). Cluster (small group) ministry began with five clusters meeting weekly.

  • Feb. 2003 – Rev. Ostein Truitt was hired as the church’s first Assistant Pastor.

  • 2004-2005 – Mentoring Program was honored at the Maryland Mentoring Partnership’s Fundraiser (MentorZing) for excellence in mentoring.

  • June 4, 2005 – Rev. Sadie Woolford was ordained as the church’s first Associate Pastor for Pastoral Care.

  • 2005-2006 - The Woman-to-Woman component of the Mentoring Program was established.

  • June 2007 – Hired 1st full-time Operations Manager, Sis. Vera J. Miles. The church also revised its mission statement.

  • July 20, 2008 – Ground-breaking service held at new church site, corner of Tamar Dr. and Rte.175, in Columbia, MD. Official site development work began on July 21, 2008. The church began construction of its new worship and ministry facility.

  • Sept. 27, 2009- Held our 1st worship service in new church at 9055 Tamar Drive, Columbia, MD. The New Church Construction Executive Committee was instrumental in getting us to this point.

  • Jan. 2010 - Community Action Council (CAC) Ex. Dir. Sis. Bita Dayhoff received their annual donation of $2,000 from the church to assist in meeting family and individual emergency needs in Howard County.

  • 2010 - Missions ministry provided and served hot meals to 55 homeless, and assisted in their food pantry and clothing donation center at the Route 1 Resource Center on 5th Saturdays each month from 9-1 p.m.

  • 2010 - Health and Wholeness Ministry’s conducted a Community Health Fair; co-sponsored HIV AIDS event with the HC Office on Aging; held Domestic Violence Month Presentations; and held an 8th Annual Blood Drive for sickle cell patients. They also obtained a $25,000 Horizon Strategic Initiatives Program grant.

  • March 2010 – Began holding Children’s Church during the 10:45 am Sunday worship service. Their average weekly attendance is 30.

  • March 2010- Cold Weather Shelter - In conjunction with Grassroots Homeless Shelter, we housed overnight and served dinner to an average of 20 guests per night for one week.

  • July 2010 – Reached the 1,100 mark for active members in our church.

  • Summer 2010 – Participated in 2 Healthy Howard Health Care Access Plan Community Walks with P.A.T.H. (People Acting Together in Howard). In total, St John had 43 volunteers. Over 726 conversations were held; 123 uninsured individuals were identified, 35 wanted follow-up calls, and 53 phone numbers were taken for further follow-up.

  • Summer 2010 - We provided volunteer support to the County’s Head Start Summer Feeding Program.

  • Summer/fall 2010 - Due to our continued membership growth, we expanded our church parking lot with 92 additional parking spaces to accommodate our Sunday worship attendance growth. During the construction phase we averaged 60 cars on Tamar Drive during our 10:45 a.m. Sunday service.

  • Aug. 2010 – Hired 1st full-time Minister of Music, Bro. Eric Byrd and part-time Facilities Manager, Bro. Bob Bennett.

  • Aug. 2010 - Golden Hearts (our Seniors Ministry) conducted their Annual Shoes for School Drive and gave 12 area schools three $50 gift certificates for children in need.

  • Nov. 2010 - Hosted a Community Thanksgiving Dinner and served 80 individuals of diverse backgrounds.

  • Nov. 2010 - Co-sponsored with the Community Action Council a Community Turkey Distribution and provided turkeys/food to 300+ families.

  • Dec. 2010 - Golden Hearts (our Seniors Ministry) sang Christmas carols and presented gifts to the residents of the Lorien Nursing Home.

  • Christmas Eve Gift Giving – Members and friends of St John donated Christmas gifts. We were able to deliver Christmas gifts to 60 families. The brothers of Omega Psi Phi fraternity, Columbia chapter helped deliver the gifts to needy families on Christmas Eve.

  • 2010-2011 Haiti Earthquake Relief: Began to raise $50,000 in partnership with Habitat for Humanity to give support to those individuals and families who were devastated by the earthquake in Haiti. We are well on our way to reaching our $50,000 goal by September 2011.

  • 2011 – Continues to experience membership and financial growth as we strive to be a spiritual community within the Long Reach Village community that seeks to transform our local community. Whenever we find needs, we seek to meet them. Whenever we find hurts, we work to heal them. Whenever we find problems, we work to solve them.

  • June 2011 – Reached the 1,300 mark for active members in our church.



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