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Greater St. James Missionary Baptist Church


Church History


The history of Greater St. James Missionary Baptist Church reflects many facets of life. However, many details of the church have not been included due to the fact that some records were not available.


We pause to pay tribute to our forefathers and mothers who toiled and suffered that we might have the privileges that we now enjoy on this sacred spot. Because of high Christian practices under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Greater St. James is recognized as one of the outstanding churches in the Baptist denomination.


The Church’s fine Christian influence is felt throughout the community. Greater St. James Missionary Baptist Church was organized in 1916, in a house a few hundred feet from this sacred spot by Reverend S.L. Williams, Deacon F.B. Bridges and Deacon J.W. Cooper. The land was purchased in 1918 and the church was completed in 1919. During this time, the church name was St. James Missionary Baptist Church. The pastor lived in a house near the church that was donated by the members. Other ministers that have served as Pastor were: Reverend S.S. Youngblood, Reverend W. McMillian, Reverend W.M. Powe, Reverend W.M. Mackey, Reverend G.W. Ware, Reverend N.T. Robinson, Jr. Presently serving as pastor is Reverend James E. Smith.



Musicians: Dea. R.T. Douglas, Sis. Allsbrook, Bro. Johnny Green, Sr., Bro. Nathaniel Nichols, Sis. Edith Morrison, Bro. James Harrington, Sis. Mamye Robinson, Bro. Marvin Johnson, Bro. Marlon D. Smith, Sr., Bro. Kendrick J. Smith, and Bro. Walker Quick.


Sunday School Superintendents: Bros. Arthur David, Ed Malachi, Cornell Williams, Clyde Quick (who served for 44 years), and Sis. Theresa Ellerbe (presently serving).Chairman of Deacons Ministry: Deacons J.C. Pearson (served over 25 years), John W. Pearson, Buddy Malachi, and James Wheeler, Jr. (presently serving)


Deacons that have served: Deacons Ed Malachi, Henry McColl, Lucious Thomas, Jule McCall, Richard McCall, Cosley Canoway, Ed Green, Gist Lloyd, Franklin Williams, B. Brad Bostic, Samuel Green, R.T. Douglas, Johnny Mack, Willie J. Brown,Willie Johnson, Norman Spiller, James A. Pearson, Johnny Mack, Sr., Eugene Chapman, and Howard Byrd, III.Current Deacons are: Deacon James Wheeler, Jr., Andrew Bittle, Lindsay Purvis, John Purvis, William McRae, Clifton Quick, Howard Quick, Jr., Rufus McCollum and David Streeter.


Deaconess that have served are: Sisters Everee Lenora Sellers, Shadie McCall, Mary F. Pearson, Mary Douglas, Mary Brigman, Hester Spiller, Henrietta Johnson, Pearlie Thomas, Mary Quick, Cecelia Chapman, Frances Wheeler, and Rev. Halestine Quick.


Current Deaconess are: Sisters Hattie Byrd, Constance Purvis, Gerline Bittle, Lula Purvis, Grace Brown, Tawanka Smith, Rita McCollum, Sherol Ellerbe, Ruth McRae,Cynthia Quick, Minnie Green, and Henrietta Barnes.Chairman of Trustee Ministry: Brothers Clyde Quick, Larry Purvis, Wayman Stover, James Wheeler, Jr., Norman Spiller, and Tommy Adams (presently serving)


Trustees have served: Brothers Daniel Johnson, L.C. Thompson, Bert Lee Brown, Ernest Lockhart, Willie Canady, Leon Quick, Eli Quick, Johnny Mack, Jr.,Lindsay Purvis, Willie Quick, Howard Byrd, William E. McRae, Andrew Bittle,Mansel Robinson, Joseph Gibson, Woodrow Easterling, Clyde Quick, Faison Purvis, Stephenson Ellerbe, Sr., James A. Pearson, Willie D. McRae, Rufus McCollum,Maxie Davis, and Walter McDuffie.


Current Trustees are: Brothers Tommy Adams, James Harrington, Johnny Green, Sr.,Curtis McDuffie, Jack Douglas, Bobby Harrington, Jerome Quick, Ricky Dines,Lee K. Hannah, and Sisters Louise Gibson, Rita McCollum and Shauna Quick.


Mothers of the Church: Sisters Luvinia McDuffie, Gertrude Quick, and Evelean Townsend (presently serving)


Church Treasurers: Dea. Norman Spiller and Sis. Gloria Ellerbe (present)Church Clerks: Bro. Ed Malachi, Dea. R.D. McColl, Dea. Willie J. Brown, Sis. Gloria Ellerbe, and Sis. Ruth McRae (present).


Secretaries: Sis. Gracie B. Sloan, Mary R. Stover, Sis. Constance Purvis, and Sis. Helen Hayes (present).


General Missionary: Sis. Louvenia McDuffie, Sis. Mary Frances Pearson, and Sis. Eddie R. Green (present)


Pastors Aide members that have served: Presidents: Sisters Inez Quick, Constance Purvis, Ella Stewart-Moore, and Jacqueline Adams (present) Members: Sisters Lela Brown, Ruth Singletary, Mary Bryant (all of whom are deceased), Betty Littles, Hattie Byrd, Lula Purvis, Ruth McRae, Ethel Miller, Gladys Baldwin, Sharon Bostic, Edna Davis, and Cecelia Chapman. Current Members are: Sisters Jacquelina Adams, Mary Alford, Syvilla Harrington, Gloria Ellerbe, Edna Quick, Margaret Dixon, Eddie R. Green, and Bessie Johnson.

The old church was located in front of the present structure. The old church structure was partially replaced under the pastorage of Reverend G.W. Ware, who served for 15 years. He was succeeded by Reverend N.T. Robinson, Jr. The main carpenter was Deacon R.T. Douglas. Reverend N.T. Robinson, Jr. was called to the pastorage in April, 1965. He was married to Sis. Mayme A. Robinson and they had three sons: N. Thimuelle Robinson, III, Mansel C. Robinson and Lyndon F. Robinson. Reverend N.T. Robinson served from 1965-2001.


We are grateful to have had the following members to be called by God from this church to preach the Gospel: Reverend Collins, Reverend R.D. McCall, Reverend Bozzie Brigman, Reverend Gregory David, Reverend Halestine Quick, Reverend John Moore,Reverend Robert Brown, Reverend Quan Stewart, Reverend Stephenson Ellerbe, Sr. Minister Henrietta Barnes, Reverend Michael Jacobs, and Minister Lakeisha Hannah.


Numerous improvements have been made, which include the physical structure and to the campus grounds were made to the church during the tenure of Reverend N.T. Robinson, Jr. Under Rev. Robinson’s leadership, the church name was changed to Greater St. James. Numerous ministries were started under the leadership of Rev. N.T. Robinson, Jr. which include: The Gospel Choir, Adult Spiritual Choir, Junior Choir, Male Chorus, Mass Choir, Youth Choir, Tot Choir, Pastor’s Aide, Willing Workers and Layman’s League. Church

Berea Missionary Baptist Association Home- The Berea Center

Greater St. James is a member of the Berea Missionary Baptist Association, South Carolina Baptist Educational and Missionary Convention, Pee Dee Union, Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc. and South Carolina Sunday School Congress.


In March, 2002, Reverend James E. Smith was called to the pastorage. He brought with his wife, Sis. Tawanka M. Smith, and three children: Marlon, Croshanda, and Kendrick. They also have four grandchildren: Jamaiya, Marlon D. Jr., Cazauria and Nariah Under Rev. Smith’s leadership, our membership has increased, souls have been saved, many have been baptized, and many improvements have been made to church ministries.


In 2012, we broke ground for the Church’s renovation and expansion project, which includes a new pulpit, choir, baptistery, restroom facilities, Sunday school classes, dining hall and kitchen, and Pastor’s study. January 5, 2013 marked our Dedication Program and Sunday, January 6, 2013 was the 1st Sunday Service in the newly renovated Greater St. James Missionary Baptist Church. We continue to grow and worship God in Spirit and Truth.


Rev. Smith is always available to give of his time, influence, and means in the church and community. Our fondest hope is that Greater St. James Missionary Baptist Church will continue to grow and point out the way for Humanity to serve the true and living God and follow where the Holy Spirit leads.


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