ST. JOHN BAPTIST CHURCH*

SURVIVORS OF AN 1875 HURRICANE THAT HIT THE COASTAL TOWN OF INDIANOLA MOVED TO CORPUS CHRISTI AND ORGA-NIZED A BAPTIST CHURCH FOR AFRICAN AMERICANS, NAMED ST. JOHN FREE MISSION BAPTIST CHURCH, THE CONGREGATION MET IN A BARN UNTIL A SANCTUARY WAS BUILT IN 1876 AT THE CORNER OF N. BROADWAY AND TWIGG. THE BUILDING WAS MOVED IN 1910 TO A NEW SITE AT 1305 RAMIREZ STREET. THE FIRST FULL-TIME PASTOR BEGAN HOLDING WORSHIP SERVICES IN 1921. A NEW CHURCH BUILDING WAS ERECTED BEFORE 1940 TO ACCOMMODATE THE GROWING MEMBERSHIP, AND AN ANNEX WAS ADDED BY 1945. MUSICAL PROGRAMS SUPPORTED BY THE CHURCH INCLUDED A CHOIR,CHURCH BAND, AND GLEE CLUB QUARTET THAT WAS BROADCAST BY FOUR LOCAL RADIO STATIONS FOR SEVERAL YEARS.

IN 1958, THE CONGREGATION PURCHASED 3.5 ACRES OF LAND AT THIS SITE AND BEGAN CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW CHURCH BUILDING. THE FIRST PHASE OF THE BUILDING PROGRAM, COM-PLETED IN OCTOBER 1961, INCLUDED SEVERAL NEW ROOMS FOR CHURCH ACTIVITIES AND SPORTS FACILITIES& NEW SANCTUARY WAS FINISHED AND DEDICATED IN MAY 1969, COMPLETING THE BUILDING PROGRAM.

THE CHURCH HAS SUPPORTED MANY COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES AND SEVERAL SOCIAL OUTREACH MINISTRIES, AND MAINTAINS ACTIVE PROGRAMS FOR ITS MEMBERSHIP (1996)