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History of Saint Johns AME Church


The members and officers of St. Johns A.M.E. Church are grateful to God for having the privilege to observe another Church Anniversary. We are forever grateful and thankful to a gracious and enduring God who has sustained this building on its current site for over a century.  With the Holy Spirit ruling in our lives and those of the forefathers who cemented the foundation of our church, we continue in that tradition of faith in our God.


Our historical identity extends from the election of Hiram Rhodes Revels, the first African American congressman, who was a presiding elder in the AME Church to the state Senate to fill the unexpired U.S. Senate term of Confederate President Jefferson Davis to the historical first African American to sit as the chief executive, the President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama. Realizing that little has been recorded about the history of this church, by researching various deeds, talking with older members and past ministers, we were able to document some facts. In researching the deeds, we find the first recorded document of the land where St. Johns now sits was owned by Henry Gumby - a trustee of the church, whose family lives in the community. It wasn't until 1883 the church became a building. However, the cornerstone dates to 1878. Reverend Kinzey Brown who was a member of St. Paul A.M.E. Church, Crisfield, MD was the builder of our Church. The Church, built on a sturdy and solid foundation 140 years ago, still maintains the same wood and Gothic arch structure today. The deed passed through many hands for a period of sixty years because of many financial problems and debts. However, in 1937 the church was sold to St. Johns’ trustees for one dollar and the deeds remain ours. Some of the names of the trustees mentioned during the early years were:

  • Enoch Addison

  • Francis Hall

  • Henry Gumby

  • Isa Hargis

  • J. Gumby. 










The noted Pastors include Reverend Thomas Butler, Reverend E. B. Johnson; Reverend W.J. Jones; Reverend Leon Atkins who pastored for 18 years (1965-1983). In 1983, the Reverend Carroll Fields was appointed pastor of St. Johns and was our first woman Pastor. The church owns a parsonage and other property. The following accomplishments were made: a new roof for the church; a furnace installed in the basement; restoration of the bell tower; a telephone installed in the church; with the assistance of the late Sister Hattie Gillette, from Mt. Zion UMC, Pocomoke, a new carpet was installed; the church ceiling was painted, and ceiling fans were installed; our parsonage was renovated including new electrical wiring, bathrooms and other necessary fixings; and, the church was paneled. Officers under Reverend Carroll Field's leadership were A. Elaine Deale, Gwendolyn Johnson, Elizabeth Marshall, Gloria Mills, Alice Smith, Clarice Tankard, Sharon White, Chauncey Doughty, Robert Doughty, Vernon Hope and Alonzo Mills.


In April of 1993, the Reverend Charles A. Baugh was appointed Pastor of St. Johns Pocomoke. During his years of ministry greater accomplishments were made. A newer parsonage and furniture were purchased; street ministry started; purchase of a bus for transportation; membership increased; new stained-glass windows were installed; new front doors installed, new brick steps and a ramp was constructed.During Pastor Baugh's Pastorate, we lost the oldest member of our church and oldest Communion Stewardess, Mother Emma Schoolfield at age 103. She was born January 14, 1899, and sunset, October 17, 2002


In November 2003, Reverend Charles Baugh was relocated to Ebenezer AME Church in Baltimore,MD at the request of the bishop. At that time, Reverend Rosalyn R. Crosby was appointed to St. Johns Pocomoke. Under Reverend Crosby leadership, a new air condition and new carpet was installed in the church as a Christmas gift to the church. 


On March 29, 2008, at the 192nd Session of the Baltimore Annual Conference, Reverend Doretha S. Whittington was appointed as the new Pastor of St. Johns A.M.E. Church, Pocomoke. Pastor Whittington and her husband, Bro. Winfield M. Whittington, were received with much joy. Reverend Whittington received her Doctorate in Pastoral Counseling while leading the flock of St. Johns in 2009. Under Dr. Whittington's leadership, St. Johns saw fresh changes; the living room in the parsonage and hallway were given a fresh coat of paint, new furniture was purchased jointly with the church and the Pastor as a Christmas gift to the church. Pastor also donated curtains and panels in the living room, reupholstered vestibule chairs, purchased welcome banner in the vestibule, purchase new window in the bell tower as a gift to the church, the gold letters above the front entrance door were donated by Pastor as a Christmas gift in 2010. During her tenure, the Wednesday Free Lunch Ministry, Gloves for Tykes, acolyte system, and the Whittington Scholarship Fund were established, new ramp with wrought iron rails was constructed, and colonial designs were installed, a 14-passenger bus was donated anonymously to the church, restroom facilities were updated, new aluminum siding and new shingles on the roof were added to the parsonage, landscaping in front of the church and parsonage. A major work was the constructing of a new vestibule with chandelier and bell tower replacement. Pastor also introduced the use of technology in bible study and worship services by using laptop, screen, and projector. The campaign for the Center of Hope, a new educational/dining center was initiated. Dr. Whittington also served as reading mentor at Pocomoke Middle School, treasurer, vice-president and then president of the Pocomoke Ministerial Association, and partnered with the Worcester County Health Department to write a federal grant for middle school students about the dangers of e-cigarettes. Pastor Whittington and our church received a plaque from the Worcester County Board of Education in recognition of contributions through its Gloves for Tykes program. Church colors of burgundy and gold were selected and "The Saint" became our new logo in 2017. Dr. Whittington retired in 2021.


Reverend Dr. Kimberly McManus was appointed during the height of the COVID 19  pandemic. During this time, bible study as well as worship services were held via Zoom. During the 206th session of the Baltimore Annual Conference, Rev Dr. McManus was appointed to Bethel AME, Easton MD leaving St. Johns pastor-less until The Bishop knew who would be right for this next season.


After four months of allowing the ministerial staff along with the assistance of retired pastor Dr. Whittington, Bishop James L. Davis  from the Episcopal Room appointed Rev. Brandon L. Montague as the pastor of St Johns. Since day one, Rev. Montague has wrapped his heart around St. Johns healing some scars not spoken of and the people responded the same way. Rev. Montague has created a logo that has a compass embedded in it letting us know that with God, being our focus, we will never go astray. Rev. Montague has increased Social Media presence as well as given us a motto to encourage us to strive for better. “With God and Together, We CAN NOT FAIL, Onward and Upward!”

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