St. Paul AME Church History

On October 9th, 1872, in a small cottage on Park Street, the foundation for what was to become St Paul AME Church was to be laid by seventeen Christian soldiers. Annie Allen, Archie Brown, Amanda Carter, Jennie Carter, Nan Cothorn, Jefferson Mash, Mary Mash, Dudley Miller, G.W. Turner and Sarah Turner.

Organized under the jurisdiction of the Illinois Annual Conference, Rev.George Benson was appointed the first pastor. On September 29, 1879, the church was officially incorporated under the pastorate of Rev J.W. White, with the Rev. Henry McCraven, H.J. Lewis and Jefferson Mash as incorporators. The incorporation was renewed on July 19, 1929, signed by Mother Annie Allen, Rev McCraven and the Rev. George W. Williams. 

2nd & Center St 1882 - 1918

2nd & Center St post renovations

1209 Crocker St 1918 -1971

In 1918, under the leadership of Rev. S.L. Birt, styled as "The Master Builder", new land was purchased at 12th & Crocker Streets upon which a very large and most beautiful church edifice was erected. The little church was said to be "the best church ever built by Negroes between Chicago and Denver." Rev. Birt led the congregational church march from the old church to the new.


The St Paul Family- 1926

Rev. H.L.P. Jones Pastor 

Rt. Rev. A.L. Gaines Bishop

The St Paul Family- circa 1965

ccirca 1965

The St Paul Family- November 2017

Under the present leadership of Rev. Dr. Frederick K. Gaddy, with First Lady Pamela Gaddy, our church has moved steadily forward through tough economic times, reorganizating the Transformation Center to a firmer footing, reinstituting formal educational spiritual programs, and involvement of younger members in the church organizations, have been examples of the present administrations advances. We presently host a city wide Men's Ministry, as well as a Women's Ministry. Our Women's Missionary Society serves food at Creative Visions every 1st Sunday of each month. The church is known in the Community as a loving church, with members feeling they are truly in a Church family.​


1201 Day St. | Des Moines, IA 50314 | 

Bishop John Franklin White, Presiding Prelate | Rev. Tyson J. Parks, Presiding Elder

Rev. Dr. Frederick K. Gaddy, Pastor

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