St. Albans Church of God in Christ
Where it all began
Since 1970, we have striven to create a strong community driven by the teachings of Jesus Christ, which are the guiding force in the lives of our growing congregation. Through our worship, teachings and outreach, we give our members the chance to become fully immersed in the wisdom and teachings of the Lord.
Reflecting on the past
Thankful for the present
"He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure." - Isaiah 33:6
In 1971, Pastor Timothy Lee Barge began Saint Albans Ministry. On July 21, 1971, Pastor Barge entered into a verbal agreement with Bishop Claude D. Allen, presiding Bishop of C.M.E Church/Christian Methodist Episcopal Church to purchase the church structure at 678 Aurora, St. Paul, Minnesota. At this time, the building was referred to as the Old Carter Chapel. After resolving a few legal issues concerning the title deed, Pastor Barge and the members of the congregation purchased the church structure for $3,500 less than what the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church paid in 1948 when they purchased it from Aurora Methodist Church. The building was in poor condition and needed repairs to become functional. Originally, the church was named Holy Name Church of God in Christ. This name did not fit well with Pastor Barge and he continued to search for a name more suitable. Once he selected a name, documents where amended, changing the name to Saint Albans Church of God in Christ.
Up and Running
"So since we stand surrounded by all those who have gone before, an enormous cloud of witnesses, let us drop every extra weight, every sin that clings to us and slackens our pace, and let us run with endurance the long race set before us." - Hebrews 12:1-2
Initially the congregation consisted of the 1st Deacon of Saint Albans, the late Joseph Webb Sr., and his wife the 1st Church Mother Anne Webb. Their family included their daughter Magnolia Webb, May Webb, Lillie Webb, Fannie Webb, and granddaughter Gaynell. Joseph and Anne became ill and were no longer able to attend church. Their daughter Magnolia was exalted and became the New Church Mother. After Joseph and Anne passed away, the membership of St. Albans COGIC dwindled.
"These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." - Deuteronomy 6:6-7
The limited membership took its toll on Pastor Barge. Reflecting on those time, he quoted “It was an extremely trying time for me.” Many Sundays Mother Magnolia Webb was the only adult in attendance, but he was determined not to give up. Compelled by the Holy Spirit, Pastor Timothy Barge would walk around the neighborhood, inviting them to worship the Lord with him at St. Albans COGIC. Many of the adults accepted his invitation but only sent their children to Sunday School excluding themselves. Majority of the children who attended belonged to Naomi Glass and Marcia Clark. Pastor Barge believed, if he could reach the children, maybe their parents would attend. Instilling Godly Values, he educated, played games, and brought snacks for the children to enjoy. While staying consistent, he drew Naomi, Addie Robinson (Naomi’s Mother) and Maria Clark to join the congregation. To this day, Marcia Clark still attends, and is one of the precious gems in our ministry.
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." - Romans 8:28
In 1972, during the Minnesota Holy Convocation, members within the Church of God in Christ met with Interim Bishop Henry Ford seeking a new place to worship. After discussing their concerns, Bishop Ford granted their request and recommended them to fellowship at Saint Albans COGIC. Approximately ten families consisting of thirty adults and children become new members. Pastor Barge organized a meeting establishing worship services, prayer meeting, bible studies and appointing officers of the church. During this time, Pastor Barge was able to attend his 1st Holy Convocation in Memphis, Tennessee. New membership classes were introduced for the congregation to become more acquainted with Pastor Barge but also teaching the fundamentals of the Christian faith, the importance of holy living, as well as their duty to support the ministry. Despite the struggles and challenges they faced; the Saints did not allow anything to hinder their tithing. Due to their willingness to give, they learned and became excellent stewards of their finances.
"And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ"
Mother Magnolia Webb – Persisting Church Mother: Trustee Board
Mother Viola Dillard – Assistant Church Mother: Trustee Board
Deacon Dallas Charles – Chairman of Deacons Board: Trustee Board
Deacon Booker Pruitt – Chairman of Trustees Board & Treasurer
Sister Elnora Land – Church Secretary
Deacon Dallas Charles – Sunday School Superintendent
Sister Willie Mae LaGrone – Y.P.W.W. President
Louise Hopkins: Trustee Board
Mother Lurine Thomas: Pastor Aide Board
Sister Effie Clemons: Pastor Aide Board
Building the Youth
"I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent." - Luke 15:7
When the founding children grew up, many of them strayed from their roots and seldom attended service. The future seemed bleak but in the 1980’s God drew them back to their church home. Once they began attending regularly, God awoke their spirits, reviving the congregation. The motto “brighten the corner where you are” become a foundation of their teaching, never to be ashamed of what we have and giving your best effort to make it better. Pastor Barge stressed the importance of desiring the “sincere milk” of God’s word. He often said. “We should be so grounded in the word, that no one should ever shake us off of our faith.” He truly was a student and man of God.
"Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen."
- 1 Peter 4:10-11
In 1987, the Saint Albans mortgage indemnified, and the first phase of remodeling was complete. Pastor Barge’s health began to decline in the mid-1990s. During this time, he expressed his desire for Saint Albans COGIC future. (1) Assistant Pastor: Elder William Land became his predecessor. (2) The trustee board never sell the church structure for personal profit. Pastor Barge and Elder Land shared a bond that was undeniable and there was no better decision then for him to be his successor. Many times, during Sunday Service, Pastor Barge would be too ill to preach and Elder Land took charge. God prepared Elder Land for the mantle of responsibility to feed his flock while Pastor Barge groomed him.
"Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." - 1 Corinthians 15:58
In 1996, Elder William E. Land was appointed by the Jurisdictional Prelate: Bishop Stanley N. Frazier, as the Administrative Pastor to further assist Pastor Barge. On January 26, 1997, Bishop Stanley, officially installed Elder William E. Land, Pastor of Saint Albans COGIC with Pastor Timothy Barge becoming Emeritus Pastor. The Lord continues to work His will in Pastor Land’s life through preaching & teaching the gospel but also personal & couples counseling with his wife, Shirley Land. Together, their desire is to reach the lost weak-minded individual by exemplifying Christlike wisdom and character. Shirley Land holds the distinct honor of being the First Lady of Saint Albans. Shirley is an asset to this ministry and as echoed often by Pastor Land, “I couldn’t do what I do, if I didn’t have her by my side.” She continues to encourage her husband, members of Saint Albans, and anyone she encounters. We the members of Saint Albans Church of God in Christ truly give thanks to God, for knitting us together working for his glory!