St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church has a long and rich history. St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church has been an anchor and leader in this community since the 1800’s. St. Paul was originally established under a brush harbor. The Church later purchased property at 5960 Pleasant Hill Road on February 22, 1886 in Pleasant Hill, MS now presently called Olive Branch, MS. Later a small framed white church was built. On February 20, 1937, the church purchased an acre of land to be used as a cemetery. The cemetery was to assist members and other families in the community.
Due to the increase in membership in 1945, the sanctuary was added to and renovated by Brothers Matthew Williams, Dick Greg, Jim Bridgeforth, and several other members. During the early 60s to 1972, the church was under the leadership of Rev. V. B. Brown and only met for service on the 1st and 3rd Sundays. In 1972 Pastor E. L. Fox became Pastor of St. Paul. Pastor Fox was a pioneer. It was under his leadership that the church began having service every Sunday instead of two Sunday’s a month. Pastor Fox later founded and implemented the St. Paul Male Chorus. Pastor Fox resigned in 1985 and Pastor Harry Echols, Jr. was elected Pastor on May 18, 1985. Pastor Echols was known as a thorough teacher of God’s Word and led St. Paul to new heights. More land was purchased and a new sanctuary was built under his watch and leadership. Pastor Echols retired in November 2008.
Rev. V.B. Brown
Pastor E.L. Fox
Min. Harry Echols, Jr.
The church currently sits on five acres of land with a 600 seat sanctuary for worship space. Construction on the sanctuary was completed on September 4, 1988. Preparations began to renovate the old sanctuary for classroom, fellowship hall, and kitchen space on October 2, 1995. Upon completion, the B.G.M.W. Fellowship Hall was named and dedicated in honor of Brothers Bonner, Gilliam, McNeil, and Williams. On April 7, 1988 the church purchased its first church bus to help members get to and from service and other church events.
St. Paul has always been a leader and advocate for education. For several years St. Paul donated a half acre of land to the state of Mississippi for a school that was dedicated to educating the surrounding African American community. On April 8, 1998, the church purchased the neighboring house along with 1 acre of land at 7172 Pleasant Hill Road. In December 1999, the house was renovated into a daycare for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years old and open its doors in 2000. The Daycare was named St. Paul Tender Love and Care Learning Center. By March of 2006 the daycare had experienced tremendous growth that prompted further renovations to accommodate the influx of students. In 2012 the daycare center was rebranded and renamed to Little Saints Academy and moved into the new education.
On July 11, 2009, Pastor Eric Lee began his tenure as Pastor at St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church. Pastor Lee is a firm believer in education and he leads by example. Pastor Lee currently holds a Masters of Business Administration and a Masters of Divinity. Under his pastoral leadership, St. Paul has become a church that is focused on “Being Inwardly Strong in God’s Word and Outwardly Focused on God’s Work.” Our theme is “A Church In 3D” (Discipleship, Development and Deployment). St. Paul has witnessed exciting spiritual and physical growth under Pastor Lee. In 2012 the church constructed a new education center which included the daycare center, classrooms, fellowship hall and administrative space. In September 2015, construction and renovation to the existing sanctuary began. Brown Baptist warmly opened their doors and heart to St. Paul for 270 days. On Mother’s Day of 2016 we held service in our newly renovated sanctuary after a 270 day absence.