Our History

The Saint Mary Missionary Baptist Church was organized in the year of our Lord, 1883.  Our fore parents erected a building on the Cochran place. They named it Saint Mary Missionary Baptist Church, later years it was moved to its present site.  Their fore parents came onto the scene not too far removed from the dark days of slavery. The Shadow of servitude was still lingering in their memories. The dust of affliction had not been wholly removed from their longing souls.  In their faith of Jesus Christ, they launched a movement to build for God and the community, a church. 

Today's history has justified their efforts, time has made fruitful their vision, and providence has guided their heroic purpose and blessed their courageous intention.  Today, we thank God for this rich heritage and we feel a keen sense of gratitude and indebtedness to those who laid this great foundation. God blessed our church to the extent that a larger house of worship was needed.

The third sanctuary was built in 1905. The cornerstone was laid by the Odd Fellows Fraternity, at that time the late Reverend C.A. Lang was the pastor.  Those numbered among the faithful workers were L. Nelson, T. McDuffie, A. Williams, O. Bush, D. Jackson, M. Lang, J.F. Frazier, J.H. Williams, N. Bush, J.W. Hill, Mrs. E. Williams, Mrs. J. Kegler, Mrs. B. Swan, Mrs. L. Lang, and Mrs. A.  Scott.

The fourth building was built in 1972 under the leadership of Pastor J. Wesley Lowe. The church officials at that time were deacons: King Jackson, Charlie Amos, Eddie Bush, Roney Edwards, Charlie Jackson, Willie C. Johnson, Clayton Marcus, Simon Marcus, Sylvester Quimberly, and Sylvester Wimberly.  The Mother of the Church was Corene Thompson; treasurer, Deacon Clayton Marcus, Sr.; and church clerk, Emma Thompson.

In 1974, a pool was built and dedicated for baptism.  On November 27, the Ordination and Cornerstone Laying Service were held, ordaining Lonnie Bowman, Henry King, Jr. and Larry Thompson. The cornerstone was laid by the Albany Masonic District No. 11, Free and Accepted Masons, Prince Hall Affiliated.

In 1980, we began recognizing our senior members eighty (80) plus years old. We thank God for them and ask his continuous blessing upon them.  On March 17, 1987, three (3) additional acres of land was purchased and later fenced in under the leadership of Reverend R. L. Chatmon. On April 1, 1990, Saint Mary was without a pastor. Being led and guided by the Holy Spirit, on August 24, 1990 Reverend Ananias Hopkins, III was chosen to become the 14th pastor of Saint Mary Missionary Baptist Church. 

On November 11, 1990, under the leadership of Reverend Hopkins, it was agreed to hold worship services every Sunday at 11:00 a.m. beginning the first Sunday in January, 1991. We are continuously amazed at the blessings of the Lord upon the work of our church. 

On October 16, 1994, Reverend Hopkins prayed for and gave the elected deacons their charge. Receiving the charge were Ulus Frazier, Ormie J. Jackson, Willie C. Marcus, and Johnny Stubbs.

On May 28, 1995, the Saint Mary Missionary Baptist Church family adjourned to the south side of the church to break ground for a new addition. After singing and praying the ground was broken by a series of shovels, one representing each age group within the church family. Those lifting shovels filled with soil were Eula Bush, Leon Marcus, Corene Thompson, Clayton Marcus, Sr., Ella Jackson, Reverend Ananias Hopkins, Johnny Stubbs, Desmond Jackson, Christen Thompson, LaKai Smith, and Candice Williams.

The fifth sanctuary was built and dedicated in 1997. On October 11, 1998, the cornerstone was laid by the Albany Masonic District Number 11, Free and Accepted Masons, Prince Hall Affiliated.

In 1998, the kitchen and dining area were remodeled: commercial stove, refrigerator and freezer were installed in the kitchen, tables and chairs for the dining area. Additionally, a pool was installed in the former sanctuary for baptizing.

In October 1999, ordination service was held for James D. Silas, Sr. and Horace Thompson.

In January 2000, five more acres of land was purchased. In April 2004, the Angel Food Ministries was organized and several more acres of land were purchased. In December 2004 the church van was purchased and a second van was purchased in May 2006, all under the leadership of Reverend Hopkins.  Membership has grown tremendously.  There were 207 that joined under Christian experience and 337 that confessed Christ and were baptized.  

In July 2006 the church mortgage was paid in full. We thank God for working through this great spiritual leader; we pray for his continuous blessing upon our church.

In April 2009, C.A. R. E. Development, Inc. a non-profit organization was organized.

September 2007, ordination service was held for Jerome Jackson, Alvin Sapp, Sr., Terry Brown and Willie A. Mitchell, Sr.

September 21, 2008, mortgage burning and ground breaking ceremony was held for a new educational building. A series of shovels were held representing each age group within the church family. Those lifting shovels included Deacon Clayton Marcus, Deacon James Silas, Deacon Willie C. Marcus, Jessie Lee, Derek Hadley, Jr., James Davis, D’Antay Williams, and First Lady Jackie Hopkins held 8 month Rhyan Simmons’ hand on a shovel.

Pastors having served Saint Mary were Reverends: R.L. Fletcher, J.H. Strong, C.A. Lang, M. Williams, J. Neil, J. Murray, H.J. Wimberly, W.M. Domely, L.C. Daniels, G. Brown, J.W. Lowe, M.C. Jenkins, R. Chatmon, and presently Ananias Hopkins, III. Members having served as church clerks were: Nathaniel Bush, Kizzie Adams, Willie Thompson, Emma B. Thompson, Ella Jackson, Nathaniel Thompson, Emma L. Thompson, Mattie Jess, and presently Gloria Silas. Members having served as finance secretary are: Oppie L. Johnson, and presently Freddie Thompson. Mothers of the Church were Sisters: Hattie Spence, Kizzie Adams, Lue Bush, Julia Jackson, and Corene Thompson. Deacons were: Charlie Adams, Oscar Bush,  Milton Beamon,  Matthew Swarn, Will Cole,  Abe Lee,  Bennie Reed, Frank Spence, Willie Thompson,  John L. King,  Jim Williams,  Julius Lumpkin, Nathaniel Thompson,  Roney Edwards,  Willie C. Johnson, Sylvester Wimberly, Charlie Amos, Sylvester Quimberly,  Eddie Bush,  Elton Spence,  Charlie J. Jackson, Lonnie Bowman,  Henry King, Jr.,  John L. King, Jr.,  Ulus Frazier,  Clayton Marcus, Sr.,  and Simon Marcus.  Present deacons are: K.J. Jackson, Ormie J. Jackson, Willie C. Marcus, James D. Silas, Johnny Stubbs, Larry Thompson, Horace Thompson, Jerome Jackson, Alvin Sapp, Terry Brown, and Willie Mitchell.

With the Banner of Christ hanging high that men may follow on, we have pitched our tent on land, near turbulent waters. However, our leaders who have waited in camp, have caught the glimpse of a new day and have each, in his own term brought us into greater and more secure avenues of success.