Welcome to the online ministry of Greater Saint John Cathedral. We invite you to our church to experience a wonderful move of the Holy Spirit, where you can come and grow with us. Our worship experience is unique and uplifting. We welcome you to come and hear the anointed, uncompromising Word of God, delivered in a powerful way that will change your life! Come as you are, you will be Blessed!
Our foreparents found time and courage to come together in the Lord's name underbush shelters to worship. Similarly, a few dedicated believers in Christ, Rev. Truman C. Dixon; Deacons Joseph Dixon, Frank Jones and Roland Suggs; Trustees Edward Johnson, James Dixon, and Robert Dixon; Mothers Elizabeth Johnson, Claretta Dixon, Mary Berry,Mamie Suggs, and Laura Suber; members Juanita Johnson, Minnie Jones, Olga LeeBlount, Nancy Barnes, Julia White, Luvenia Cameron, Alice Berry, Blanch Berry, Leighton Berry, Reginald Berry, Melvin Berry, Jon Berry, and William Peterson, met on a chilly night on Chillum Place, N.E., Washington, DC, for the purpose of organizing a Free Will Baptist Church. Following that eventful evening, the St. John Free Will Baptist Church was born, and Senior Bishop R.D. Pridgen of the United American Free Will Baptist Conference installed our officers.
Having made the vision of an organized church a reality, the group got busy looking for a place to hold worship services. Guided by the light of the Almighty, they were directed to a storefront location at 520 8th Street, S.E., Washington, DC. The first services were held on the first Sunday in January 1963, and it was a glorious day as we assembled in the name of the Lord.
Needing a place to accommodate the growing membership, Mrs. Sarah McLean informed the church that Jones Memorial Church on Benning Road, N.E., Washington, DC, was for sale. Following negotiations, the church marched from the McBrides parking lot blocks away to its new home at 4270 Benning Road, N.E., Washington, DC. In December 1979, the last payment was made on the church's second mortgage. Blessings never ending, Sugar Ray Leonard made a financial donation in 1981 to repair, refinish, and cushion the church's pews and pulpit chairs. With the support of the membership, officers, and dedicated work of the Trustees, the church sanctuary was remodeled. In December 1981, the first mortgage was paid off, and on Sunday, January 3, 1982, the Mortgage Burning Ceremony was held. During 1985, the church acquired the property on the corner of 44th and Benning Road, N.E., Washington, DC, to be used for the church's parking lot.
On Saturday evening, October 18, 1986, God called our beloved Pastor, Truman C. Dixon, home to rest from all his labor to his reward. After the death of Bishop Dixon, Deacon Edward Leon Hackney and the Board of Deacons were instrumental in standing in the gap until God would send us another pastor. At the Quarterly Conference of the church in December 1987, the church body approved the establishment of a Pulpit Search Committee.
In January 1989, the Pulpit Search Committee brought forward three anointed men as pastoral candidates. Our Pastor, Reverend Kevin V. Gresham, Sr., "The Happy Glad Preacher" of Baltimore, Maryland was elected by the church membership on April 9, 1989. Installation services were held on June 4, 1989. During the first eight months of Pastor Gresham's leadership, one hundred new members joined the church. During the first two years of his leadership the church grew immensely. The music department was expanded and our Youth became an active/integral part of the worship service. Knowledge of the Word of God was increased and the membership's spirituality was heightened.
During Pastor Gresham's third year, two Deacons were ordained, one Mother and one Trustee were consecrated, one Associate Minister was called to pastor a church, and two vans were purchased for outreach. Because of the continual growth of the church, seven additional Deaconesses were consecrated in 1992, and a 7:45 a.m. church service was added.
Outgrowing its present structure, the church made its third move by acquiring the church formerly occupied by the First Baptist Church of Glenarden at 3311 Brightseat Road in Landover, Maryland. In 1997, with constant growth in membership, the church acquired twenty-five acres of land along with a $1.4 million unfinished building in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. On the fourth Sunday in November 1999, St. John Free Will Baptist Church moved via motorcade to this site.
The church has experienced new dimensions of spiritual awakenings and a deeper commitment to biblical teaching, as reflected in its 2002 name change to Greater Saint John Church. With a new fire for sharing the Gospel, Greater Saint John Church released its first recording project in that same year, aptly entitled, "Greater".
After months of praying the Prayer of Jabez, Greater Saint John Church of Waldorf, Maryland was planted in August 2004 with Pastor Nathan Merritt at the helm. Greater Saint John Church has a millennium vision for making disciples throughout the world and maintains active relationships with international ministries in Guyana, India, and Nigeria. In October 2004, they embarked on their first missionary trip to Bartica, Guyana.
Greater Saint John Church is a church that's constantly evolving and always growing, yet still making room. The ground in Upper Marlboro was found fertile and the church membership has grown to more than 1700 active members, with over 67 ministries to meet family and community needs. In October 2005, Bishop Kevin V. Gresham, Sr. and the Greater Saint John Church dedicated our new 1500 seat sanctuary in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.
Bishop Kevin V. Gresham Sr., Senior Pastor
11425 Old Marlboro Pike
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
Communion (Every 1st Sunday)
9:30 a.m. and 11:45 a.m.
Worship Service - 9:30 a.m.
Rush Hour Service - 11:45 a.m.
Prayer, Praise & Study - 7 p.m.
Noon Day Service