Greater St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church

Greater St. Paul Baptist Church
Page 2 (continued)

The renowned and aggressive Rev. William L. Baxter accepted the call from St. Paul in 1931. Since the existence of this church, baptismal services were held in the Indian River near the Brevard Hotel. Under Rev. Baxter's leadership a baptismal pool was built. This was a very colorful period in the life of St. Paul Baptist Church and the Rev. Baxter served with dignity and honor. The Rev. Baxter departed in 1935 to pastor the Tabernacle Baptist Church in West Palm Beach, Florida.

The second longest pastorate at Saint Paul Baptist Church was that of the Rev. H.D. Parker. Rev. Parker, a forceful, dynamic, fundamental gospel minister, was concerned with all phases of the life of his people. He accepted the call to Saint Paul Baptist Church in the year 1936. He served until 1947. During this pastorate, he began and went a long way on remodeling the present church building from its seating capacity of one hundred and fifty to three hundred and eighty-five. As the struggle for progress continued, dissention set in and the Rev. Parker left in the year 1947 and organized the Metropolitan Baptist Church of Cocoa. The wife of this renowned Minister received recognition by being elected President of the Women's Convention of the Florida East Coast Association in 1941. She served until her death in (October) 1947: A period of thirty years.

Still looking and moving forward, the Saint Paul Baptist Church extended the "Call to Service" to the Rev. G.E. Bradley. He accepted the call and became the ninth pastor of St. Paul Baptist Church in June 1948. This unassuming, modest, philosophical and sincere minister completed the remodeling of the church in 1949 and dedicated the new church. Greater St. Paul, on Novem¬ber 13, 1949. The wife of this great minister organized the No. 2 Usher Board which is a stalwart auxiliary of the church today. Rev. Bradley, through mutual agreement with the church, laid down the scepter in 1958.

In 1959, February 10, the Greater St. Paul Baptist Church extended the "Call to Service" to the youngest of her historical ministers, the Rev. W.O. Wells, Sr., the son of the late Rev. O.W. Wells, Sr., of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The Rev. Wells is" a native of Florida born in Miami. He is a graduate of the American Baptist Theological Seminary of Nashville, Tennessee, with the Bachelor of Theology Degree. He received the Bachelor of Arts Degree from Fisk University, Nashville, Tennessee, and has received the honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree from Conroe Normal and Industrial College of Conroe, Texas. He was married to the former Ann Collins of Cocoa, and the father of four children; Willie Oliver, Jr.; Oliver Warren; Annette Olivetta, and Dee Dee Antionette.

Under the leadership and pastorate of this erudite and dynamic young minister, the Greater St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church recaptured its position as one of the leading churches on the East Coast of Florida, as well as in the State.

During Rev. Wells fifty-two years of serving as Sheperd to this great flock of people, much was accomplished, to include a new church facility, a new 15 room church parsonage, and the acquisition of several parcels of land.

Dr. Wells retired on January 16, 2011 and was elected by the church family as Pastor Emeritus to honor his outstanding years of service to the church and to the community.

On November 17, 2011 Rev. David E. Bryant, Sr. was elected the 11th pastor of the Greater St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church and was installed into his position on January 9, 2012, by one of the sons of Greater St. Paul, Rev. Dr. Harvey L. Riley. Rev David E. Bryant Sr. is a native of Middletown, Ohio; he is the fifth child of five born to Rev. John E. Bryant and Mrs. Mildred Alexander Bryant.

He is an anointed evangelist and teacher whose vision for God's people enables him to build bridges and reach across denominations, generations, gender, race, culture and ethnicity. He possesses a contagious spirit of generosity that flows through every facet of his ministry. He has a tremendous passion for God's word coupled with a love for God's people.

Rev. Bryant, Sr. is married toValery Bryant, a seven year survivor of Alzheimer's disease, for twenty-five years; together they have three children Erica, Mercedes, & David Jr.From that time until the day of his installation, 21 members have joined the church family and we foresee many more souls being saved. Praise God!


Greater St. Paul Baptist Church
213 Stone Street
Cocoa, FL 32922
(321) 636-7178