First St. Mark, at 152 years old, is alive and well! During these years, twelve pastors and their assistants, deacons, and trustees have come on the scene and steered the ship. The First St. Mark Baptist Church was established in Houston, Texas in 1869. The church was organized under the late Rev. P. Taylor in the Pilgrim’s Hall with eight members who later a church where services were held. Under the leadership of Rev. Taylor, land was purchased on Maggie Street in the hopes that the church membership would increase.
Rev. Cushinberry was called and served as pastor and later resigned.
Rev. B.J. Hall was called until he passed away.
Rev. H. Cannon was then called, but later resigned.
The Rev. Body was called as pastor, and later resigned.
In March of 1920, Rev. James H. Cook was called to shepherd the flock. The First St. Mark Baptist Church was landlocked on Maggie Street and the land was purchased on the present site of 2934 Brackenridge. He served as Pastor for 40 years and Queen Elizabeth Cook worked along side her husband.
Rev. W. L. Weathers was called in November 1960 and served as pastor until 1984. Rev. Weathers had many accomplishments for the church during his tenure. 1) The first was the demolition of the old building structure that was replaced with new one
2) Second accomplishment was the placing of the cornerstone in the auditorium walls.
In 1984, Rev, Weathers became ill and became Pastor Emeritus. During this time several ministers served as interim pastor.
They were: Rev. Chester Speights, Rev. Reed, Rev. Joseph Thomas, and Rev. C.W. Overshown.
Several months later, Rev. R.J. Revels, Jr. was called to pastor. Rev. R.J. Revels had a vision to build the new fellowship hall He served for almost five years before resigning in May 1989.
In January of 1990, Pastor Willie Claiborne became our spiritual leader. He and his family, worked for the continued success of the church. The new fellowship hall was built under the leadership of Rev. Willie C. Claiborne. In May 2000, Pastor Claiborne resigned. God called him from labor to reward February 2018.
In May 2001, Rev. Paul Speights became our spiritual leader until he resigned.
The members of the church again went to the Lord in prayer to seek his guidance for a new leader for the church. Rev. J.L. White, Jr. and Rev. Edwards served for more than a year as our interim pastor until a new leader was sent by God.
Through prayer, the Lord delivered us a spiritually rooted minister, Pastor Murphy D. Simon, Jr., in November 2002. First St. Mark was televised for the first time under Pastor Simon. In September 2008, Pastor Simon resigned. In 2008 through 2009,
Meanwhile Rev. Percy McGee, Rev. Kevin Tillman both served as Interim Pastor. Then in 2010, while we waited to hear from God Pastor Carter served as Interim Pastor.
God answered our prayers with confirmation of His word. On Sept. 11, 2011, Pastor Charles Joseph Carter Jr. was installed as our 12th Pastor. We are blessed to have Pastor Carter, his lovely wife Sis. Michelle Carter, their sons Charles III, and Caleb to share in this journey with us. Pastor Carter, a man of vision, celebrated his 10 year anniversary with a drive-thru parade again.
The Vision God gave him: “As a Church body, we are equipping the saints for ministry, evangelizing the lost while planting the seed for lifestyle change through the proclamation of the Gospel of Christ. We also want to cultivate an atmosphere of love as we press toward the Mark for the prize of the High calling of God in Christ Jesus“. Through the Vision Statement our Motto was formed: “Pressing toward the Mark” Philippians 3:14. Pastor Carter still proclaims, “We ought to be Excited and Proud of our Church”!
Pastor Carter revamped several ministries to make them viable for the Challenges of today. In carrying out God’s plan, Pastor Carter changed the order of Service and when the Pandemic hit he listened to God to protect the flock and spread the Gospel, so the body was commissioned to stay home until further notice and Pastor Carter continued evangelism on Facebook and other social media outlets.
Our Media team has done and continues to do an outstanding job, along with several essential workers that helped to carry the message Preached by our Pastor of an Omnipotent God, who Cares for HIS children. After more than a year and half of online-church, we returned to FACE 2 FACE Worship in September 2021. We shout Hallelujah to God in the HIGHEST because He's Kept OUR CHURCH FAMILY! As a family, we mourn a few of our precious members who God called home; and we are still praying mightily for a few of our staple members who have not made it back to Church that God's will be done!
The CHURCH TRIUMPHANT IS ALIVE and WELL! Pastor Carter has been strengthening the members through teaching the Word of God in several teaching series. We continued our annual Thanksgiving baskets with families less fortunate as a part of our mandate to "Give and Go". A few dedicated members with the support of the Pastor led the church in a few aesthetic enhancements: updated the vestibule entry and side entry, added more technology, outside landscaping, Baptismal pool painting and electric outlet upgrades. Beginning 2022 new ministry outreach will be more impactful as we include new techniques. Though we have come a long way, we will keep pressing to be all God would have us to be and as Pastor Carter always says, “The Best is Yet to Come!”