The Church and Pastor
St. John's Baptist Church was founded on October 9, 1903. It was organized by 23 Christian men and women who held the belief, "With God all things are possible." Mark 10:27
During the first five years of its existence, services were held at Odd Fellows Hall located on Columbia Pike (now the site of the Sheraton Hotel, not far from the National Air Force Memorial and the Pentagon). Previously "Freedman's Village" which housed freed slaves during and following the Civil War, was also located in the same general area. The first church building, built on the current site, was dedicated in 1908. Through the years the church has expanded and been blessed by the outstanding leadership of men such as Rev. James H. Marshall, Rev. John R. Wheeler, Deacon Cleveland James, and Trustee Garland Mitchell.
Pastor John J. Nicholas, Jr. accepted an invitation to assume the pastorate of St. John's Baptist Church in July 1975. He immediately set the Church on a course of meaningful new goals, which included the enhancement of church ministries and auxiliaries, and planning for church building expansions. Pastor Nicholas is a nationally-recognized preacher, biblical scholar and mentor. He is an active leader on local, state and national issues which need input from the Christian community. Rev. Nicholas was licensed in 1969 and ordained in 1972, he pastored Burrell Memorial Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., before coming to St. John's Baptist Church. He has served as Moderator of the Northern Virginia Baptist Association and President of the Northern Virginia Minister's Conference, President of the Missionary Baptist Ministers Conference, Washington, D.C. and vacinity and second Vice President of the Baptist Educational Congress of Washington, D.C. He continues to work in the Northern Virginia Baptist Association, the Lott Carey Foreign Mission Board, the D.C. Baptist Convention and the Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc. He is also a member of the Executive Board Baptist Convention of the District of Columbia, Trustee of the Washington Baptist Seminary and Life Member of the NAACP.
St. John's Baptist Church continues to be that Church at Columbia Pike and Scott Street, in Arlington, Virginia, that is a beacon of light to all who pass. Yes, with God all things are possible.