#OFF THE CHAIN STUDY
With over 148 years of service to Houston's faith community, St. Paul was founded in 1869 as the first African Methodist Episcopal church in Houston. The church was named in honor of St. Paul, who was among the first freed black people. The first worship services were held under the leafy shade of an arbor. However, God's grace and determination led founding pastor, Rev. David Wren, and two founding families, the Richard Brock and Henry Fields families, to begin work on the original worship edifice at 1710 Edward Street located within the Houston Central Business District, First Ward. Pastor Wren and his group of trailblazers completed construction of the first St. Paul A.M.E. worship center in 1873. In 1875, St. Paul completed expansion of this project to include pastoral housing. St. Paul has successfully handled the oversight for additional renovations and reconstruction required due to the Texas Gulf Coast storm of 1900, other catastrophic events, and general facility maintenance.
Under his leadership, St. Paul has begun to delve further into the call to "nurture and meet the needs of the community". In 1998, Pastor Dawson was instrumental in the establishment of the St. Paul A.M.E. Church Community Development Corporation. St. Paul's CDC collaborated to provide Day Care and After-school Program services to children in Houston's First Ward community. Collaborative partnerships included projects with Avenue CDC. A June 2000 community growth and expansion feasibility study of the First Ward area, led to a transitional move for the church and the CDC, targeting Northwest Houston.
In June 2001, relocation was completed to the Greenspoint area, a Northwest Suburb of Houston. St. Paul A.M.E. and its community projects began their grounding within the new community through Thomas Gray Elementary School in Aldine Independent School District