THE HISTORY OF ST. PAUL PENTECOSTAL
St. Paul Pentecostal Church started from humble beginnings in 1957 as a prayer meeting among saints who were traveling from Brooklyn, New York, to attend worship services at Faith Tabernacle in New Jersey. These prayer meetings were held regularly, with members allowing the use of their homes on a rotating basis. This group was named St. Paul by its spiritual leader, Sister Dorothy Wright. Sister Dorothy Wright still attended regular worship services at Faith Tabernacle while chairing the prayer meetings for St. Paul. Sister Dorothy Wright, being obedient to God became Missionary and later ordained Pastor in 1963. Word about St. Paul spread throughout the community and attendance became too large to continue services at members’ homes. The group began to look for a suitable meeting location. Under the direction and supervision of Rev. Dorothy Wright and her sister-in-law Sister Marjorie Wright Riley, services were moved to a tiny storefront building at 2020 Fulton St., Brooklyn, NY. The St. Paul prayer group became Saint Paul Pentecostal Church. In 1964 the Volunteers of America building located at 133 Hopkinson Ave (currently known as Thomas S. Boyland Street) became available. With an initial down payment of $500, the church eventually obtained its current facility, where it has remained a cornerstone of the community for over 50 years.
The lot adjacent to the church had been vacant for many years. The property, controlled by an absentee owner, was not properly maintained. It remained a public eyesore until 1998 when ownership was taken by the City of New York. City officials recognized the church’s good work and long history of commitment to the community and transferred property ownership to St. Paul Pentecostal Church. This new land afforded the church the means to adequately address its space requirement without relocating the congregation to another neighborhood.
The church has continued to be a spiritual, educational, and economic mainstay to the community. In addition to normal weekly worship services, the church has both participated in and sponsored programs that are key to the community and the preservation of the family such as: Youth in Action Summer Work Program, Children’s Day Camp, Boys and Girls Scouts, Little League Sports, Sewing Clubs, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Literacy for Adults, Job Fairs, Health Fairs and the St. Paul Enrichment Center. Each of these programs has given the church the opportunity to spread the word about the goodness of Jesus Christ outside of the pulpit.
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