The Founding of SMMB Church
The history of black churches in America is intricately bound with the struggle within the black community to survive and advance as a people. In that struggle was and is a need for divine help.
Most black churches find common ground in how they started. Usually, a few like-minded believers were moved by the Holy Spirit to join together as worshipers. Many came from the same family and many shared the same last name. They also shared a belief in God, human love for each other and a need to assemble together in the name of Jesus. Many started out in homes or humble buildings. There was no elaborate organizational structure and certainly no great amount of money, if any. Many believers were not biblical scholars or intellectual geniuses. There were no five, or ten, or fifteen- year plans for the future of the church. However, these believers possessed qualities which supersede all of the above things. An unwavering faith in God, faith in the Holy Spirit and a certainty that Jesus Christ died for our sins – giving us access to eternal life. They also believed and knew that somehow God would make everything alright.
So it was with the founding of the St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church was organized in July 1937 under the leadership of the late Rev. Edward McGee. It was located on West Eighth Street, in that part of Cincinnati which was known then and now as the “West End”.
After a few years, the church moved to Eighth and Freeman. Later the location was changed to 265 W. McMicken. The Pastor at that time was Rev. Arthur Watson. Several ministers served as pastors after Rev. Arthur Watson for periods of time. Among them were: Rev. W.B. Frazier, Rev. James Streeter and Rev. Harry Drayton.