About Us

Who We Are

We are a Christian Church by faith. We are Baptist by denomination. We teach and we adhere to the doctrine that salvation comes by grace from God through faith in Jesus. We teach and practice believer baptism. The mode of baptism is immersion in water. We are open and not restrictive, yet we do hold to a body of beliefs, which bind us into a covenant relationship. We believe in the Trinity – Who is manifested in the Persons of The Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We believe in and practice the congregational form of church government. The pastor is the under shepherd who the Holy Spirit, through eh vote of the people, has made overseer of the flock.

Our Mission Statement

“Our only business is developing disciples for the stewardship of life”

We seek to realize the Kingdom of God through dedication to the principle of Biblical stewardship. Our stewardship is concentrated in evangelism, discipleship and striving for spiritual maturity. We recognize that we have been reconciled to God by His grace, which is effected through the blood of Jesus. Our aim is to be an instrument of His reconciling power to the community and the world around us.

Our History

On July 9, 1918, on Rear Exchange Avenue, in East St. Louis, IL, a band of baptized believers, who migrated from the Southern United States, decided to organize a church in the Stockyards district, commonly known as the Goose Hill area today. The organizers were Brothers Charles Smith, Att Rush, Neal McCallum, and Sisters Uldean Smith and Lena Perkins. Because of their southern heritage, they named the church Southern Mission Missionary Baptist Church, commemorating their geographical background and their goal and mission to build a church to worship and to give God the glory.

Rev. Elmer Cook was the first pastor of the Southern Mission Missionary Baptist Church. Under his leadership, the church experienced spiritual growth. He led the congregation in purchasing property and erecting the first church on Winstanley Avenue. On September 23, 1923, Rev. Walter Sykes became the pastor. Under his leadership, the congregation erected a new building on June 6, 1924. During the period between 1923 and 1935, the following pastors led the Southern Mission congregation: Rev. Shaw, Rev. A.B. Collins, Rev. Donohue, Rev. S.D. Harris, Rev. Rasberry and Rev. Sam Williams.

In 1925, the Church was destroyed by fire, and services were housed temporarily at 223 Winstanley Avenue. On March 22, 1935, Rev. Calvin Fearn became the pastor. During his 19 years of leadership, the church grew to great heights, flourishing spiritually and intellectually. Rev. Fearn is credited for the erection of the church building that currently stands at 129 Exchange. In July 1954, Rev. Elbert Lee Thames was called to pastor the Church. Under his guidance, the church grew and various improvements were made – spiritually and physically.

Rev. A.L. Gee was called to pastor in July 1960. He assumed the pastoral duties of the church on the first Sunday in August 1960. The Church showed marked progress under his leadership with a special emphasis on developing and living Christian lives. Pastor Gee served this congregation for more than 25 years. As with the pastors before him, improvements were made to the physical plant, as needed, and the church continued to grow spiritually. Notably under his leadership, the Church sponsored a weekly radio broadcast on Sundays for many years. This broadcast was designed especially for the benefit of the sick and shut-in (those persons unable to participate in a weekly worship experience on a regular basis).

Pastor Gee, sensing the decline in population in the Goose Hill area, began to look toward relocating the congregation. A committee from the Winstanley Baptist Church informed Pastor Gee that its property, where we are currently located, could be purchased. After much prayer and deliberation between the two congregations, we voted to purchase the property from Winstanley Baptist Church. The contract was signed between the two congregations on Sunday, February 1, 1970, at 4:30 p.m. at the Winstanley Baptist Church. We officially moved to the new location on July 1, 1970.

On May 22, 1986, Rev. Jerome Jackson, I, Sr. became the pastor of Southern Mission Missionary Baptist Church. Under his leadership, our church has grown spiritually and numerically. During his administration, additional improvements to the physical plant have been made and new property was purchased for parking and future facility additions. An audio and videotape ministry has also been instituted as part of our outreach ministry. Both Sunday and midweek Bible Studies are provided, so members and non-members can grow and mature in the Word of God. Various ministries are included in our church program to reach the diverse community that we minister to and hope to reach.