Our History From 1904 to Present Day
The history of St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church, San Bernardino, California is very much linked with the history of its parent body, the great African Methodist Episcopal Church, organized as the Free African Society in 1787.
St. Paul A.M.E. Church was founded, established and organized on Easter Sunday 1904. Mr. & Mrs. Henry Inghram had written to Rev. J. H. Wilson, Presiding Elder of the California Conference, to come to San Bernardino for the purpose of organizing an A.M.E. Church. He came and met with Henry and Mary Inghram with their children, Henry, Ben, Howard, and Ruth; and Martha Bush, and her son, Earnest. They were the first charter members of the church.
The church was originally named Wesleyan A.M.E. Church, for the founder of the Methodism, John Wesley. The first church was located on 6th Street, near “D” Street, in a building rented from St. Paul Methodist Episcopal Church South.
Rev. Frank Johnson, a Local Elder from Allen A.M.E. Church in Riverside, became the first Pastor of the Mission Church. Soon the church began to grow as people joined, including a large family by the name of Muckleroy.
In 1915, the Muckleroy brothers, under the pastoral of Rev. Clark J. Lockhart, were contract ed to build a new edifice. For the price of $4700.00, the second location for the church was constructed at Sixth and Harris Streets.
In the early 1950's, Rev. David Slocum purchased the first parsonage.Rev. Williams M. Jacks was appointed Pastor in 1959, and purchased the property where the church is now located. Rev. James E. Grant, Sr.liquidated the debt on the property and began construction of the present church.
In 1969, Rev. Albert Carter re-organized the church, and construction of the present church was completed. Bishop Harrison J. Bryant dedicated the present church Sunday, April 5, 1970. All debts were paid under Rev. Carter’s leadership, and several pieces of properties were purchased. The membership grew to 749 members under his leadership.
In 1975, Rev. William M. Jacks was appointed to St. Paul for the second time. During this tenure, debts on the properties were paid in full. Over 200 members joined under his leadership, and subsequently he was appointed as a Presiding Elder from St. Paul.
In 1989, Rev. Charles Brooks was assigned to St. Paul, becoming the 41st Pastor of St. Paul. The church established a Scholarship program, which bears his name, grew to a membership of over 1000 members, and expanded to two Sunday worship services.
In October of 1997, Rev. Alvin L. Smith was assigned to St. Paul. Since coming to St. Paul, the church has flourished and membership increased. Pastor Smith established a number of new organizations, the Imani Ushers, three new choirs, Revelation, Genesis and Ephesians Choirs; Tuesday Night Bible Study Courses (101, 102 & 103; 4th Friday Night “Happy Hour”; 2nd Sunday Anointing Service; Imani (Young Adult Ministry) and a Youth Basketball Team.
Rev. Anthony L. Hughes succeeded Rev. Smith in November 2001. He led St. Paul in the purchase of a new parsonage in East Highland, reorganized the Young People’s Department, and with his wife Rev. Dorisalene Hughes, established morning and overnight prayer meetings to affirm prayer as the foundation of St. Paul’s Ministries.
Rev. Larry E. Campbell was appointed Senior Pastor of Saint Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church on June 4, 2006 after serving over six years as Founding Pastor of Grace of Temecula Valley African Methodist Episcopal Church in Temecula, CA. He is a native of Jacksonboro, South Carolina.
Pastor Campbell strongly believes that TEACHING plus PREACHING equals HEALING. He is committed to saving souls, spreading the good news of the gospel through the preached word and administering to the spiritual, intellectual, physical, emotional and environmental needs of God’s people.
To God be the Glory!