We are a Church that faithfully proclaims the gospel of Jesus Christ and we look forward to your participation in our worship services, fellowships and ministries.
You will often hear us say that Greater St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church is a church that builds people because the purpose of our Church is to make disciples Jesus Christ.
We do this by leading people to:
Believe and Accept Jesus as God’s Son and the Bible as God’s Word.
Belong and Connect to God’s Family Grow and Develop to be God’s Servants Commit and Contribute to God’s Kingdom
The Greater St. Paul Baptist Church of Cocoa, Florida is the second oldest predominantly Negro Missionary Baptist Church established on the east coast of Florida, from Daytona Beach to Miami.
This Church had it's beginning in the year 1886, when six men; Maurice Ambrose, Napoleon B. Williams, Moses Aubrees, Joseph Dassy, Edmond E. Scott, and Robert Thomas, came together and decided that a Missionary Baptist Church was needed in Cocoa, Florida.
Meeting wherever they could in prayers and songs it was through the guidance of the Holy Spirit that they felt the need of a stabilized place of worship. The responsibility for interceding into such a venture fell upon Brother Maurice Ambrose. It was under the leadership of Brother Ambrose that property was secured and the Saint Paul Baptist Church became a fixed pillar in the community.
Knowing that it is impossible for the church to hear without a preacher, they prayerfully considered calling a pastor and the charge fell on the Rev. G. P. Perry as the first pastor of Saint Paul Baptist Church. Under his leadership the church was built and he served as pastor until 1894.
In 1894, Saint Paul Baptist Church called another pastor. This was the Rev. N.T. Hinton, one who not only made his presence felt in Cocoa, but whose influence stretched throughout the east coast of Florida. Traveling from New Smyrna on weekends to preach, he built the first parsonage, a two-story structure. Using Saint Paul Baptist Church as a stepping stone, he went on to become the first Moderator of the Florida East Coast Baptist Association in 1903 (now the largest Black Baptist Association in the State of Florida). It is interesting to note that as a layman, the Rev. N.B. Williams helped organize St. Paul Baptist Church and became the second Moderator of the Florida East Coast Association in 1904.
In 1902, the Rev. N.W. Robinson accepted the call from Saint Paul Baptist Church and served as pastor until the year 1905.
In 1905, the Holy Spirit blessed Saint Paul Baptist Church with another dynamic pastor, the Rev. A.J. Brown. The Rev. Brown remodeled the church to a seating capacity of about 75. Rev. Brown's wife had already received prominence for she was elected the first president of the Women's Convention of the Florida East Coast Association in 1904. In his last year of pastorate at Saint Paul Baptist Church, the Rev. Brown was elected Moderator of the Florida East Coast Baptist Association. He left Saint Paul Baptist Church and accepted the call to Bethlehem Baptist Church in Titusville, in 1909.
St. Paul's pastor who had the longest pastorate to date was the Rev. J.N. Stokes. He remodeled the church to seat one hundred and fifty members. He remodeled the parsonage from a two-story to a single-story dwelling. This persuasive and forceful Minister served from 1910 to 1928. His influence, like his predecessors reached into the Florida East Coast Baptist Association where he served as Moderator for seventeen (17) years and went on to serve as President of the General Baptist State Convention of Florida.
In 1928, St. Paul Baptist Church called a strong and spirited young man in the person of Rev. G.P. McKinney, Jr. Under his leadership a new roof was installed and the church was painted. This young minister had a fruitful pastorate at St. Paul.
However, having the urge to leave Florida, he accepted the call to the pastorate of the Bethesda Baptist Church in Americus, Georgia. He left Saint Paul after the first Sunday in September, in 1931.
The renowned and aggressive Rev. William L. Baxter accepted the call from St. Paul in 1931. Since the existence of this church, baptismal services were held in the Indian River near the Brevard Hotel. Under Rev. Baxter's leadership a baptismal pool was built. This was a very colorful period in the life of St. Paul Baptist Church and the Rev. Baxter served with dignity and honor. The Rev. Baxter departed in 1935 to pastor the Tabernacle Baptist Church in West Palm Beach, Florida.
The second longest pastorate at Saint Paul Baptist Church was that of the Rev. H.D. Parker. Rev. Parker, a forceful, dynamic, fundamental gospel minister, was concerned with all phases of the life of his people. He accepted the call to Saint Paul Baptist Church in the year 1936. He served unti 1947. During this pastorate, he began and went a long way on remodeling the present church building from its seating capacity of one hundred and fifty to three hundred and eighty-five. As the struggle for progress continued, dissention set in and the Rev. Parker left in the year 1947 and organized the Metropolitan Baptist Church of Cocoa. The wife of this renowned Minister received recognition by being elected President of the Women's Convention of the Florida East Coast Association in 1941. She served until her death in (October) 1947: A period of thirty years.
Still looking and moving forward, the Saint Paul Baptist Church extended the "Call to Service" to the Rev. G.E. Bradley. He accepted the call and became the ninth pastor of St. Paul Baptist Church in June 1948. This unassuming, modest, philosophical and sincere minister completed the remodeling of the church in 1949 and dedicated the new church, Greater St. Paul, on November 13, 1949. The wife of this great minister organized the No. 2 Usher Board which is a stalwart auxiliary of the church today. Rev. Bradley, through mutual agreement with the church, laid down the scepter in 1958.
In 1959, February 10, the Greater St. Paul Baptist Church extended the "Call to Service" to the youngest of her historical ministers, the Rev. W.O. Wells, Sr., the son of the late Rev. O.W. Wells, Sr., of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The Rev. Wells is a native of Florida born in Miami. He is a graduate of the American Baptist Theological Seminary of Nashville, Tennessee, with the Bachelor of Theology Degree. He received the Bachelor of Arts Degree from Fisk University, Nashville, Tennessee, and has received the honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree from Conroe Normal and Industrial College of Conroe, Texas. He was married to the former Ann Collins of Cocoa, and the father of four children, Willie Oliver, Jr., Oliver Warren, Annette Olivetta, and Dee Dee Antionette.
Under the leadership and pastorate of this erudite and dynamic young minister, the Greater St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church recaptured its position as one of the leading churches on the East Coast of Florida, as well as in the State.
During Rev. Wells fifty-two years of serving as Shepherd to this great flock of people, much was accomplished, to include a new church facility, a new 15 room church parsonage, and the acquisition of several parcels of land.
Dr. Wells retired on January 16, 2011 and was elected by the church family as Pastor Emeritus to honor his outstanding years of service to the church and to the community.
On November 17, 2011 Rev. David E. Bryant, Sr. was elected the 11th pastor of the Greater St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church and was installed into his position on January 9, 2012, by one of the sons of Greater St. Paul, Rev. Dr. Harvey L. Riley. Rev. David E. Bryant Sr. is a native of Middletown, Ohio; he is the fifth child of five born to Rev. John E. Bryant and Mrs. Mildred Alexander Bryant.
He is an anointed evangelist and teacher whose vision for God’s people enables him to build bridges and reach across denominations, generations, gender, race, culture and ethnicity. He possesses a contagious spirit of generosity that flows through every facet of his ministry. He has a tremendous passion for God’s word coupled with a love for God’s people.
Rev. Bryant, Sr. was married to the late Valery Bryant; together they have three children Erica, Mercedes, & David Jr. From that time until the day of his installation, many members have joined the church family and we foresee many more souls being saved. Praise God!
Originally constructed in 1950, The Greater Saint Paul Baptist Church acquired the commercial-retail building on the south/west corner of Stone Street and Hughlett Avenue in 1961 from Harold Shackleford. The facility was renovated and became a laundry and dry-cleaning plant. After years of operating this business, the facility was once again renovated and became a Church Annex. It served as an all-purpose facility, including worship services when the new church was being constructed.
Over the years, different architectural plans were developed for the facility. Many of them never materialized for various reasons. In 2012, the current pastor, Rev. David E. Bryant Sr. received approval from the church to obtain a feasibility study to determine the cost effectiveness of renovating versing new construction. After reviewing this study, the church gave authorization to proceed with renovations. In July, 2014, a completely renovated Fellowship Hall was completed and on schedule. To God be the Glory!!!
On this 27 day of September, 2014, The Pastor, officers, and members of the Greater Saint Paul Baptist Church do hereby rededicate and bequest this historic facility, filled with rich and cherish memories of our members and ancestors, to our children, grandchildren and future generations.