HISTORY OF ST. PAUL A.M.E. CHURCH

Old St. Paul AME

St. Paul A.M.E. Church of Canton, Georgia started in 1897 with a group of members who were dedicated and committed to following Christ.  A list of those who labored to build the first church structure located at N. Crisler Street includes Bro. Henry Ware, Bro. Sherman Jefferson, Bro. Ed Atkins, Sis. Saffire Garrison, Sis. Eliza Scott, Sis. Lena Green and Sis. Liza Palmer.  These Christian soldiers worked tirelessly during the day, breaking only to go home for supper and then returned to work on the church building at night.  They were not as fortunate as we are today in many ways.  For instance, there were no electric lights, so the ladies held the oil lanterns while the men hammered the nails.  They not only sacrificed their time, but they also sacrificed their hard earned money so that our church, today, would be a reality.

On April 6, 1976, the Lord blessed us to journey from our former structure on North Crisler Street to our present facility at 390 Crisler Street.  At the time Rev. R. L. Childs served as Pastor.  On that glorious morning, we marched from the old building to the new building singing and praising the Lord! On April 1, 2001 we made this march again commemorating our 25th Anniversary in our present sanctuary.  “We called this our Trip Down Memory Lane”.  We sang songs of praise from the place where the former structure stood to our present edifice. Rev. George Fields served as Pastor at the time.

In 1984, the Lord called one of our own, Rev. Frederick D. Forsh, into the preaching ministry.  Rev. Forsh preached his first sermon on the afternoon of Sunday, May 20, 1984.  In June of 1987, he was ordained as Deacon in Philadelphia, PA as part of the bicentennial celebration of the AME Church.  Rev. C.C. Saunders, our pastor at that time, traveled along with him to witness this grand event.  In 1990, Rev. Forsh was ordained as an Elder in our church and received his first charge to pastor the St. John AME Church of Ringgold, GA.  Presently he pastors Liberty Hill AME Church in Sharpsburg, GA.

New St. Paul AME

Again, God called one of our own under the pastoral tutelage of Rev. George Fields.  Kito J. Johnson preached his first sermon on January 2, 1997 and in the summer of 1997 he united with St. Paul where he served as our Youth Minister.  In May of 1999, Rev. Johnson was ordained as a Deacon in the AME Church.  In January of 2001, Rev. & Mrs. Johnson left St. Paul to follow the call of the Lord and start a new church, Covenant Christian Center located in Holly Springs, GA.

A list of our former pastors of St. Paul include, The Reverend(s) Peace, Grant, Brewster, Blake, Curtis, Few, Dunlap, Giles, Kelly, Lester, Worthy, Bradford, Childs, John W. Bass, George Brink, C.C. Saunders, Ashford Hunter, Walter Reynolds, Thomas Shaffer, George F. Fields, Thomas D. Ferguson, and Joseph E. Baker.

Our Current Pastor, Rev. Lemora B. Dobbs, was appointed to serve St. Paul in May 2006.  She and First Gentleman, Bro. Donald W. Dobbs, arrived with their running shoes on.  We are thankful to God for sending us a leader that is guided by the Holy Spirit and on fire for the Lord.  Pastor Dobbs has made her presence known and felt through Canton and the Cherokee County community.  Under her leadership, St. Paul has initiated many ministries including its AWANA Club program, its Kids for Christ (KFC) Mime Ministry, its Ladies of Christ (LOC) Dance Ministry, its N-Zone Teen Bible Study, its Papa’s Pantry satellite, its monthly Block Party in partnership with Forever Fed Ministry, its daily intercessory prayer conference call, its Young Adult Choir, its Young Adult Sunday, and its Taking It to the Streets Ministry.  Under Pastor Dobbs’ leadership, St. Paul began sponsoring its Annual Church Outside the Walls in September along with its Annual Chastain @ St. Paul, An Evening of Gospel Jazz and Inspiration.  St. Paul has entered the 21st century with its social media presence, its online giving capabilities, and its Wi-Fi access to members and visitors during worship services and other church events.  We have come a long way and we’re assured that under Pastor Dobbs’ leadership, the vision God has for us will indeed become reality.

At St. Paul God has re-focused our attention on reaching the unsaved, the un-churched, the disenfranchised, and those in need.  Not only are we Equipping the Saints for the Work of Ministry, but we are also Raising Up A New Generation of Leadership for the Next Level Church.  For all that God is doing in our midst, we say To God Be the Glory!