The Faith Missionary Baptist Church was organized with nine (9) members in September of 1966 at 2865 Semple Avenue in St. Louis Missouri. Rev. Percy L. Washington was the organizer and pastor. Sis Gladys White proposed the name "Faith", and Bro. Homer White became the first Deacon. As the membership grew, two (2) Deacons, Bro. George Washington and Bro. Sylvester Chester were ordained. The Mass Choir, Usher Board, and a Mother's Board were organized.
In 1970, we purchased property at 4987 Thrush in St Louis. There, two more deacons, and two ministers were ordained and the FMBC Youth Choir was also organized. Our membership continued to grow and in 1975, the city purchased the property on Thrush and we moved to 4805 Natural Bridge Ave. And at this location, three more deacons were ordained.
In 1983, we purchased our present building from Matthews-Dickey Boy's Club and began our first renovation project, we held service in what is now the dining area and marched into the sanctuary later that year. Since moving here we have been blessed to organize a Missionary department and a Health Unit. Pastor and Sis. Washington were instrumental in the opening of a child care facility in the church auxiliary spaces which prospered for many years. In this time period, God answered Pastor Washington’s prayers for help and his staff increased to include nine (9) ministers and eight (8) deacons. The music ministry also prospered and the mass choir grew to over twenty-five voices singing praises to God.
Pastor Washington was called home to glory on July 27, 1996, and in a meeting of the church officiated by the moderator of the Union Missionary Baptist District Association Rev. James Z. Williba in September of 1996, Rev. Theodore R. Williams Jr. was elected as the second pastor of Faith. We began our second renovation project, which was set in place by Pastor Washington. In December 1997, and marched into the finished sanctuary in May of 1998. Because of economic constraints, the board decided to close the child care center in August of 2003. We have since remodeled the area where the child care center was, adding a library, additional dining, and a classroom area.
After many changes in the musical staff, Faith was blessed when one of the young men that grew up in the church Bro. Zane Porter came to Pastor Williams and asked if the band he played with could play for the church, this was a blessing that we knew could only have come to pass with the help of God. We now have a full band which includes a keyboard player, and lead guitar player, a bass guitar player and a drummer. Through the years some of the faces have changed, but the band is still together and we have added a youth drummer for the children’s choir.
We are pleased that God has given us the use of, His building so we had no second thoughts when we were asked to share it with other congregations. In the past, we shared a space in the building with pastor William Gwynn and the Hope of Glory Christian Assembly, and with pastor Bradley Jones and Divinity Missionary Baptist Church. We know that God is faithful to those who trust in Him because in 2006 we were able to pay off the mortgage on the building.
In 2009 we were vandalized and four air conditioners were stolen from our roof and another one beyond repair, but God had already put the right people in the church to cover this event. Rev. John Hope had come and joined the church bringing with him is knowledge of heating and air conditioning. After reporting the matter to our insurance company and receiving the monies to replace the units we got five new units along with iron cages to protect them from theft. We also upgraded our security system to arm the units on the roof.
We continue to keep God at the forefront of all we do, and in March and April of 2016, we were able to complete the renovation of our kitchen. We have other projects pending, and God has blessed Faith with a group of faithful men and women who are always willing to lend a hand.
Our membership has around 200 persons on the books, with about half that number in attendance; with the addition of new ministries, we expect even more blessings from God. From the time of our beginnings in 1966, the Lord has called to rest many of our faithful members, including not only our organizing pastor Rev. Percy L. Washington but his wife Sis. Lula Mae Washington on August 19, 2000, and our present pastor Rev. Theodore R. Williams’ wife Sis. Lue B. Williams on August 30th, 2015. We thank God for having placed them in our lives for such a time as they were with us.
As we continue to celebrate our years of service to God, we praise Him that our morning 50th anniversary preacher, was a product of Faith Missionary Baptist Church, Minister Brandy Peoples, and when we see what God has done in her life we are ever grateful that He allowed some of us to play a part in her growth and development in His kingdom. The scriptures tell us this in 1 Corinthians 2:9 “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” And it is because of this we will continue to give Him glory and praise as we press toward the mark of the high calling in Christ Jesus.
Sis. Janet Banks, Church Clerk
Reverend Dr. Theodore Roosevelt Williams Jr., Th.B, M.Th., D. Div., Pastor