Our History

The church has experienced much growth spiritually, financially and a continuous increase in church membership. A plethora of new, intergenerational ministries were established under the innovative, visionary leadership of Pastor Zanders. These ministries include: the Health and Wellness Ministry, Christ Soarers Children and Youth Ministry, Summer Camp, “Camp Whoop! There It Is,” the Richard and Sarah Allen after school tutorial program in reading and math, Liturgical Dance Group, Young At Heart Ministry for seniors, PC/Web Ministry, Light of The Word Media Ministry, Evangelism Outreach Ministry, including Door-to-Door Witnessing, Conference Call Prayer Support Ministry, renamed by Pastor Marvin C. Zanders, II in 2013, “The Edward Lang Prayer Ministry – Sweet Hour of Prayer,” (the SHOP).

On May 19, 2002, Saint Paul’s congregation witnessed the acquisition of land at the corner of New Kings and Richardson Roads. In January 2005, God’s vision for Saint Paul, through Reverend Zanders, led the disciples of Saint Paul on a three-year Spiritual Journey – “Daring to Dream Again.” God blessed this three-year spiritual journey with the acquisition of a 26 passenger bus, the “Light of the Word” television and radio broadcasts, the installation of two worship monitors, a security camera system and the organization of the Condolence Choir. The year 2008 marked the dedication of the Alexander Cottrell Library, the Winifred H. Zanders Technology Center and renaming the summer Vacation Bible Institute: the Brooks-Johnson Vacation Bible Institute.

With a strong emphasis on prayer and stewardship, God enabled the congregation, led by Pastor and Mrs. Zanders, to liquidate the $2.5 million dollar church mortgage three years earlier than the designated pay off date. In 2009, major renovations were made to the sanctuary, narthex and the administrative area, due to flooding in the church, caused by heavy rain.

God’s continued blessings upon Saint Paul are evident in other ministries established under the pastorate of Reverend Zanders. These included: The Annual New Members Brunch, Class Leaders Retreat, the “Imagine Me” Youth Retreat, The Youth Male Usher Board and The Lois B. Scott Youth Ushers, Camp Xtreme, convened on the campus of Saint Paul, June 21-July 30, 2010, under the direction of Mrs. Winifred Zanders. This academic enrichment program was sponsored by Hope Economic Development Corporation and the Duval County School System (Academic Services).

In 1997, The Andrew W. Boston scholarship was jointly established by the Boston Family and Saint Paul AME Church. With an unwavering commitment to education, the following scholarships were later established for the youth of Saint Paul: The Richard Allen Scholarship, The Sarah Allen Scholarship, The Corine Cole Scholarship, The Mary Jennings Scholarship, The William and Future Surcey Scholarship, The Christine Garner-Atkinson Scholarship and The Robinson-Hutchins Scholarship.

Embedded in the history of our church, is a commitment to education. Honoring this commitment, Saint Paul officially “Partnered In Education” with Rufus E. Payne Elementary School, Samuel A. Hull Elementary School, Northwestern Middle School and William M. Raines High School, on August 13, 2014.

Our rich history continues to unfold under the pastorate of Reverend Dr. Marvin C. Zanders, II. With God’s guidance, we believe that “The Best Is Yet To Come.”