SJBC Church Highlights


          • 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 led 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 lead by Clarke Gordon, worked to help assure the appointment of an African American pastor, Rev. Walter Long, of the new church.
          • March 7, 1971—Rev. Walter Long preached the first worship service held at Wilde Lake Interfaith Center. More than 100 Columbians attended.
          • 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 church.
          • May 1, 1974-- Articles of Incorporation were certified and recorded with the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation.
          • March 1976 – Rev. Walter Long retired as Pastor.
          • April 1976 –Mar. 1977 – Rev. Philip Rushing served as Interim Pastor.
          • March 1977 – Dec. 1978– Rev. Walter Parrish was called to serve as Pastor.
          • 1977 – The Deacon and Trustee Boards were established to replace the Board of Managers.
          • February 1979 - Rev. William O. Jackson became Interim Pastor.
          • 1984 - Deacons Esther Vines and Gertrude Frank were the first women to be ordained at SJBC.
          • 1980-1990 – Rev. Herbert Eaton served as Pastor.
          • 1990– Rev. Herbert Clinton served as Interim Pastor.
          • 1991-1993 – Rev. Dr. Clarence Newsome served as Interim Pastor.
          • September 26, 1992 – The Man-to-Man Mentoring Program was officially launched, Sis. Barbara Miller, Director.
          • May 2, 1993 –Rev. Dr. Robert Turner was installed as Pastor, where he continues to serve. Rev. Turner revised the church’s mission statement and developed 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.
          • November 1, 1997—St John Baptist Church ended its lease with the Wilde Lake Interfaith Center and moved its administrative headquarters to 8910 Old Annapolis Rd., Columbia, MD.
          • November 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.
          • 1997 – St. John Baptist Church entered into a contract to purchase land on Route 40 at Marriottsville Road.
          • February 15, 1998 – St John Baptist Church held its first worship service at 8910 Old Annapolis Rd, Columbia, MD.
          • 1998 – Deacon (now Rev. Dr.) Ostein Truitt was appointed first female chair of the Deacon Ministry.
          • February 19, 1998 – Received property deed for newly purchased 41 acres of land on the corner of Rte. 40 and Marriottsville Rd.
          • 1999 - Church began offering two Sunday worship services with three worship styles: 8 a.m. (traditional service) and 10:45 a.m. (blended and contemporary). 
          • 1999 – Church was granted tax exempt status, 501c3.
          • February 2003 – Rev. Ostein Truitt was hired part-time as the church’s first Assistant Pastor.
          • 2004 – Sis. Lisa Cooper-Lucas was appointed the first female chairperson of the Trustee Board Ministry.
          • 2005 – Elected Sis. LaVarne Burton as 1st chair of the Trustee Ministry within the reorganized Trustee Board/Joint Board.
          • June 4, 2005 – Rev. Sadie Woolford was ordained as Associate Pastor for Pastoral Care.
          • 2007 – Formed New Church Construction Executive Committee, led by Sis. Joyce Henderson. It included: Trustee Chair LaVarne Burton, Dea. Chair Clint Sellers, Bro. Theo Rodgers and Rev. Robert Turner.
          • June 2007 – Hired 1st full-time Operations Manager, Sis. Vera J. Miles. The church also revised its mission statement.
          • September 20, 2007 - Closed on the land swap (10 acres on the corner of Rte. 175 and Tamar Dr.) with the Howard County Board of Education.
          • 2008 – Awarded new church design-build contract to Miller Valentine.
          • July 20, 2008 – Ground-Breaking Service held at new church site at 9055 Tamar Drive, Columbia, MD.  Official site development work and construction of the new church began on July 21, 2008.
          • December 2008 – Health & Wholeness Ministry received a $10,000 grant from the Horizon Foundation for “Improving Health & Wellness in Howard County.” The focus was on HIV/AIDS prevention education and improving access to HIV/AIDS testing.
          • September 27, 2009- Held our 1st worship service in new church.  The New Church Construction Executive Committee was instrumental in getting us to this point.
          • October 11, 2009- Held Dedication Service at our new church.
          • March 2010 – Began holding Children’s Church during the 10:45 a.m. Sunday worship service. Their average weekly attendance was 30.
          • July 2010 – Reached the 1,100 mark for active members in our church.
          • August 2010 – Hired 1st full-time Minister of Music, Bro. Eric Byrd and created and filled 1st part-time Facilities Manager position. 
          • Summer/Fall 2010 - Expanded our church parking lot with 92 additional parking spaces to accommodate our Sunday worship attendance growth.
          • December 2010 – Health & Wholeness Ministry received a $25,000 grant from the Horizon Foundation for “Strategic Collaboration to Increase HIV/AIDS Prevention and Testing.”
          • September 2011, we ended our 1 year Haiti Earthquake Relief fund raising drive. Raised $55,000 which was sent to Habitat for Humanity to assist those who were affected by the earthquake.
          • April 2012 – Transitioned Asst. Pastor Rev. Dr. Truitt from part-time to full-time.
          • May 2012 – Started a 3rd Sunday Service (Traditional 8 a.m., Blended 10:15 a.m. & Contemporary 12 noon)
          • 2012 – Pastor Robert Turner was voted Clergy of the Year in Howard County, MD by Howard Magazine.
          • November 2013 – Celebrated Rev. Dr. Robert A.F. Turner’s 20th Anniversary as Pastor of SJBC.
          • July 2014 – Hired 1st full-time Youth Pastor, Rev. Janelle Bruce Smith and 1st fulltime Innovative Church Technology Specialist Rev. Monique Budd.



Honor God with your wealth, and the first fruits of all your produce. - Proverbs 3:9

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