Church History

Click Here for Pastor Watson's Bio

In November 1920, a small group of individuals, with a strong determination, departed from their mother church, Mt. Paran Baptist Church, and met at 16th and Kansas Avenue. The eight (8) founders were Birdie Pyles, Early Pyles, John Moody, Love Moody, Della Jones and Mr. & Mrs. George Weatherford.

The Church was organized by Reverend Yates. The first name was the "East St. Louis Mission". With an increased membership of thirty-five (35), The New Salem Association gave its approval and the church was then named "Mt Sinai Missionary Baptist Church"

The first pastor was the Reverend Ed Davis. Other pastors were: Reverend R.C. Johnson, Reverend H.S. Green, Reverend Thomas, Reverend R.L. White, and our present pastor, Reverend Herman L. Watson, Sr.

On November 10, 1957, the Mt. Sinai Baptist Church marched from Highland Place, in a procession led by Reverend White, Deacons, and two hundred (200) members singing "We are Marching to Zion", to our location at 1239 Gaty. After five (5) years, the Ten (10) year mortgage was paid in full, and on February 24, 1963, a mortgage burning ceremony was held commemorating this event.

Under the leadership of Reverend White, the church grew and prospered spiritually with nine (9) auxiliaries, four (4) departments, and a membership of nearly six hundred (600). For years, Mt. Sinai Church sponsored a Radio-outreach ministry to the sick and shut-in of the Metro-East Area. In addition, Van Ministry was started to provide transportation for those unable to provide transportation for themselves.

Reverend White announced his plans to retire the early part of 1985 and with his assistance and blessings; we began our pursuit for another pastor. On a historic 4th Sunday (26th) in January, 1986, Reverend White retired as pastor of the Mt. Sinai Baptist Church. The church showered him with accolades and congratulations for a job well done.

The church then called Reverend Herman L. Watson, Sr. who had served for seven (7) years as a Youth Minister. Reverend Watson was unanimously elected as the new pastor of Mt. Sinai on November 29, 1985. He accepted the pastorate on the 1st Sunday in March, during Pastor Watson's installation service, there was much rejoicing. Our choice of pastor was approved by God through the dynamic presence of the Holy Spirit. Under Pastor Watson, we are experiencing a renewed spiritual growth with continued determination of Kingdom building envisioned by the original members.

Pastor Watson feels that Christian Education is imperative for spiritual growth. Through divine guidance, he has initiated New Membership orientation classes, Doctrinal Extension classes, Wednesday night Family Fellowship/Bible Study, The Brotherhood Ministry, Christian Women in Action Ministry, Usher Ministry #2, Married Couples Ministry, Singles Ministry, Church secretary,(normal hours,) church office equipment, and the Tape Ministry for the sick and shut-in members.

More emphasis was stressed on biblical principals of tithes and offerings for the support of the church.

September 15, 1991, was also the date of HISTORIC GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY. Pastor Watson, official staff and about 150 members and friends marched from our facility at 1239 Gaty to the site singing, "WE'VE COME THIS FAR BY FAITH" Preliminary construction began in November, 1991.

Because of difficulties encountered with an unethical contractor, the project ceased on October 15, 1992. But praise is to God, He allowed the church family to endure all obstacles for four (4) years. In October of 1994, God placed His church on the hearts of many of His people in our community and other states. God fulfilled His gracious purpose for this church through the persons of Reverend Sherman Bridgeman, Reverend Bill Affolter and area pastors Reverend David Crockett, Reverend Jerome Jackson, Reverend Mack Lemons, Reverend John Rouse and Reverend A.G. Williams. We thank them for their help and support. The ministers enlisted the aid of craftsmen and other volunteers who gave their time, talent and treasures to complete God's edifice.

Pastor Watson, trustees, deacons, and the lay people of Mt. Sinai worked in inclement weather to facilitate it's completion through prayer, faith and spiritual endurance, realizing "It's All God". With the help of God on October 22nd 1995 at 10:00 a.m., Pastor Herman L. Watson, Sr. with the church's official staff of deacons and trustees and with approximately 400 members and friends marched from the old location at 1239 Gaty Avenue, to the new facility on 1200 St. Louis Avenue. Mt Sinai Church evolved from living room to tent and several other locations and on October 22, 1995, to 1200 St. Louis Avenue. It is the vision of the church to continue forward with the development of a Family Life Center with child care services, senior wellness program, drug counseling and educational opportunities to meet the need of the whole man. If it had not been for the Lord on our side...

Sinai Family Life Center was officially opened January 2001 with a 501c3, and the Sinai Development Corporation has been established to build "Sinai Village" affordable housing.

We are a church with a ministry, "Upward to God...Inward to Ourselves...Outward to our fellowman..."