Life, Lessons And Legacy: A Celebration Of St. John 


SANFORD – With a rich and storied history, St. John Missionary Baptist Church has been a cornerstone of the Georgetown community and its presence at 920 Cypress Avenue remains a testament to the Church’s enduring legacy and commitment to its congregation.

In the Sanford community, the church has been a beacon of faith and resilience. “Be ye doers of the Word” is what St. John Missionary Baptist Church members practice and produce. Established in 1895, the purchase of the church by the Trustees in 1896 for $250.00 from the Florida Land and Colonization Company marked the beginning of its long-standing presence at the corner of Cypress and 10th Street. When a fire in 1899 tested the community’s spirit the collective efforts of Georgetown’s citizens and firefighters helped save the Church, reinforcing its significance in the twofold commitment of the Church to the community and the community to the Church.

St. John Missionary Baptist Church supports the community through events like the annual Back-to-School Giveaway, Trunk-or-Treat, Holiday meals for the community, Sunday brunch with Senior members of the Church, visits to local nursing homes, canvasing the neighborhood in which the Church stands to provide resources and spending time with residents of the Georgetown community.

Every month, the Church produces an online publication, entitled, “St. John’s Journal.”

ErinMarie Henderson, a younger adult member of the Church, has become an integral part of the congregation’s operations, demonstrating her commitment through actions such as the organization of the recent food drive last November, hosted by the Church. Her sentiment of feeling welcomed and encouraged to be part of the church’s journey resonates with the inclusive and supportive nature of St. John.

The late Elaine Crumity’s role as the long-standing Church Secretary and her significant influential contributions to overseeing church’s renovations highlights the dedication of each individual that has helped shape the Church’s legacy.

Her work and wisdom were celebrated in February of this year as part of the “Elaine Crumity Plaque Dedication” service, which named the Church’s clerk office in her honor.

Rev. Monroe Boyd has also been a faithful, long-standing member. He has been President of the Mission and Education committee, served as a Sunday School teacher for the adult class and on March 10th of this year, worshippers at the Church joined in honoring Rev. Boyd for his years of service and commitment to the Ministry.

Members attended the celebration of Sister Clifford Philpot’s 90th birthday on March 30th.  Having joined the Church in 1969, Mrs. Philpot’s continued active participation and her remark,  “I am still here,” speaks volumes of her enduring faith and the church’s’ role as a pillar in her life.  St. John is ever grateful for her.

Celebrating 129 years is a testament to the Church’s enduring presence and impact. At this year’s Anniversary service, which will occur on Sunday, May 19, at the 11am service, the congregation of St. John Missionary Baptist Church will pay special tribute to each of the Church’s founding families, for their years of service and contribution to the Ministry.

This year’s theme is: Life, Lessons and Legacy.

“This is indeed a historic moment for this body of believers and the impact which this Ministry has made and will continue to make upon this community,” said Reverend Devin Heflin, Pastor of St. John Missionary Baptist Church. Rev. Heflin also stated, “There is tremendous excitement for the future, and we are proud to collaborate with the mayor, our commissioner and the various community organizations with which we are presently partnered.”

The arrival of Rev. Heflin in July 2023 as the Church’s Pastor marks a new chapter in the church’s history. He is referred to as the “New Generation Pastor” and symbolizes a bridge between the Church’s defined past, its dynamic present, its divine purpose and its destined future.

The Church gives great honor to every Pastor who has served St. John Missionary Baptist Church and to every member who has ever laid a brick, led a worship service, served as a greeter, taught a class, served food, raised a hymn, read a scripture and served in any capacity.

St. John Missionary Baptist Church is a beacon of hope and support, continually striving to make a positive impact.