In 1873, Reverend Richard James saw the need of leading a small flock into organizing and building the first St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church on Maria Sanchez Creek where the Willie Galimore Recreational Community Center is now located. His son, Lawrence, being a follower, assisted his father in the realization of this dream. Thus they erected a small 10x12 foot building as a place of worship. The first Church in which the members could worship, was then opened.
The membership soon outgrew the capacity of this structure and Reverend James, with the cooperation and assistance of members constructed an addition to the building. The congregation worshiped there until 1888.
During the year 1888, a Building and Loan Association of this city made an attractive offer to the congregation. It was to erect a suitable building for the church that would reflect credit upon the rapidly growing membership. The members felt equal to the task and under the pastorate of the Reverend J. H. Hill, the officers and loyal members contracted with this Building and Loan Association for a lot on School Street and a commodious stone church. Payments were to be made regularly in quarterly installments, but God had not promised the sunshine without rain. It began to rain on the congregation for a short period of three years and in 1903, while the Sunday School was in rehearsal, agents of the company that built the church ordered the participants to vacate the building. The doors and windows
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