A few dedicated men and women had a thirst and hunger for a church in their community that they could call their own. In 1900, St. James Missionary Baptist Church was organized by A. W. Moss and joined the Northwestern District Association. The church was located in Cooke County, Texas where Buck Creek and Zella Boy Creek joined about 3 ½ miles north of Pilot Point. It was built on the Cooke County School property and held under a brush arbor. Although A. W. Moss organized the church, he was not installed as Pastor.
The first Pastor of St. James Missionary Baptist Church was Rev. L. H. Hervey, followed by Pastor R. D. Taylor. After Pastor R.D. Taylor’s leadership, Pastor A. Davis was installed. Pastor Davis was born and raised in Mississippi as a child, and relocated to Gainesville. During his tenure, Pastor Davis was one of the first members of St. James as well as a long time Superintendent of the Sunday School. He also pastored a church in Gainesville. The fourth leader was Pastor Early Jackson. During his tenure, the first choir for St. James was established. Following Pastor Jackson, Rev. J.W. Phelps and Rev. T.C. Collins led St. James. Our seventh Pastor was L. J. Brown. During Pastor Brown’s leadership, the first Junior Choir and Cradle Roll Choir was formed, the first appointed usher was selected Bro. Lar Julius Sledge who was assisted by his brother, Bro. William Wyatt Sledge and St. James held church on the second and fourth Sundays of each month. Pastor Brown also initiated the Fourth Sunday Non-Domination Fellowship. Following Pastor Brown, St. James installed Rev. T.J. Warren, Rev. P.L. Talley from Ft. Worth and Rev. K.W. Scott, who held the shortest tenure as Pastor. The eleventh Pastor was Rev. Aaron Phillips from McKinney Texas followed by Rev. J.T. Williams from Ft. Worth. The first Fellowship Hall was added to the church under the leadership of Pastor J. T. Williams. Following Pastor Williams was Rev. Marvin Allen from Ft. Worth who held the longest tenure as Pastor of St. James. Under the direction of Rev. Allen, the church was moved to town when Lake Ray Roberts was developed. The property was located on the site of the Negro School – Booker T. Washington. During this time, the church exterior was bricked, a baptistery was installed, and additions were added such as: a new fellowship hall equipped with bathrooms, a larger pastor’s study, and bathrooms in the front of the church. The church also installed our first Youth Minister, Carl Jackson. Following the succession of Rev. Allen, Rev. Carl L. Jackson became the fourteenth pastor of St. James. After Pastor Jackson, Rev. Wayne L. Brown accepted the position as interim Pastor. Under the leadership of Rev. Wayne L. Brown, the church started remodeling the exterior and interior by fixing the foundation, adding new windows, laying tile and remodeling the front bathrooms in the church.
In May 2015, our sixteenth Pastor, John F. Ross was installed. Under Pastor Ross’ leadership, the congregation has seen growth in our membership, as well as initiated leadership, auxiliaries and programs for our members. We currently have the following auxiliaries here at St. James: Deacon/Deaconess, Women’s Ministry, Brotherhood, Youth Ministry, Usher Board, Couples’ Ministry and Music Ministry. Through our dedicated members, we were able to become a debt free church over the course of 11 months through tithes and offerings. In addition, through the oversight of our Church Council, we have successfully continued to remodel our church by upgrading our Fellowship Hall, adding new bathrooms, a finance room and equipping our sanctuary with new chairs and media as well as set our church’s vision for the future years to come.