Give Flag

Our History

St. Paul Baptist Church is a historic church with the current building having been constructed in 1887. In 1998 St. Paul was designated by the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation (PHLF) as a historic landmark. The church has approximately 200 members and is located on one of the busiest corners in Pittsburgh, PA.  Most of the members reside within 10 miles of the church. Our church is inclusive and multi-generational, ranging in age from 3 -99 years.

St. Paul Baptist Church originated in 1901 in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh. St. Paul celebrated its 122nd anniversary on November 12, 2023. Rev. W.E. Moore (The Founder), served as the first pastor from 1901-1912. Rev. Raleigh H. Thompson (The Evangelist) succeeded Rev. Moore as pastor of St. Paul, a role in which he served until his death in 1951. Under his leadership, the church continued to grow, and the congregation relocated to 5149 Broad Street in the Garfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh. St. Paul received its Charter of Corporation in 1929. At the time of his death, Rev. Thompson was the Dean of all Pittsburgh Pastors.

In 1953 Rev. George W. Coles (The Builder) became the third pastor of St. Paul after serving as Interim Pastor following Rev. Thompson’s death, a role he served in until his retirement in 1973. During his tenure, he completed a two-phase building project which included basement and upper sanctuary renovations.  

Rev. Dr. James E. Simms (The Visionary) accepted the call to become the fourth pastor of St. Paul Baptist Church in 1974. Under the leadership of Rev. Simms, church membership quadrupled in size, and a host of ministers and deacons were ordained during his tenure. In 1997 Rev. Simms was the visionary who led St. Paul Baptist Church into the new church building located in the East End of Pittsburgh. It is situated in the Point Breeze neighborhood at 6701 Penn Ave. Under the leadership of Rev. Simms, extensive renovations were completed. After 40 years of service, Rev. Simms retired in 2014.

On June 12, 2016, Rev. Dr. Marco A. Tinor was installed as the fifth pastor. Under the guidance of Rev. Tinor the Media Ministry was born. A multimedia system was installed allowing St. Paul the opportunity to reach out to the masses.  Early in his tenure Rev. Tinor took the church outside of the four walls of the building with ‘Worship in the Park’.  Worship in the Park is now an annual community event held in the month of July at Mellon Park in Point Breeze.  Rev. Tinor organized and facilitated CAYA (Come as You Are), a youth group that encouraged the youths to share their perceptions and points of view.  In October 2022 Rev. Tinor resigned as pastor of St. Paul. He continued to serve until 12/31/2022, at which time he moved out of state.

Rev. Debra Hearn served as interim pastor from 04/2023 thru 12/2023. Rev. Hearn possess a unique ability to deliver the Word of God. She captivated the congregation with humor, truth and transparency. Rev. Hearn can aptly preach the Bible, connecting the Word of God to real life experiences. Under her leadership the congregation grew and diversified. 

Church Demographics

St. Paul Baptist Church has a vibrant congregation, with members residing in over twenty Pittsburgh neighborhoods. The majority from the Garfield neighborhood where the church was once located. Church membership ranges from three months to one hundred and five years of age. Over forty percent of members are active in at least one church ministry.