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Who we are at St. John Baptist Church.

Who We Are

About God

God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three personalities: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God. Genesis 1:1,26,17; 3:22; Psalms 90:2; Matthew 28:13; 1Peter 1:2; 2Corinthians 13:14

About the Bible

Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven's glory and will return again someday to earth to reign as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. Matthew 1: 22,23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5; 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14,15; 1Corinthians 15:3,4; Romans 1:3,4; Acts 1:9-11; 1Timothy 6:14,15; Titus 2:13

About the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. He gives every believer a spiritual gift when they are saved. As Christians, we seek to live under His control daily. 2 Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13; 14:16,17; Acts 1:8; 1Corinthians 2:12; 3:16; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25;Ephesians 5:18

About the Bible

The Bible is God’s Word to us. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is the truth without any mixture of error.2Timothy 3;16; 2 Peter 1:20,21; 2Timothy 1:13; Psalm 119:105,160;12:6; Proverbs 30:

About Human Beings

People are made in the spiritual image of God to be like Him in character. People are the supreme object of God’s creation. Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called "sin". This attitude separates people from God and causes many problems in life. Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6;Isaiah 53:6a; Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1,2

About Salvation

Salvation is God’s free gift to us but we must accept it. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin’s penalty. When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith. Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8,9; John 14:6; 1:12; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:1

About Eternal Security

Because God gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ, the true believer is secure in that salvation for eternity. If you have been genuinely saved, you cannot "lose" it. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian. It is the grace and keeping power of God that gives us the security. John 10:29; 2Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 7:25; 10:10,14; 1Peter 1:3-5

About Eternity

People were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is Hell. To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence. John 3:16; John 14:17; Romans 6:23; 8:17-18; Revelation 20:15; 1Corinthians 2:7-9


The following core values reflect the “non-negotiable” elements and priorities that ought to characterize the members of St. John Baptist Church.


  • To study the Scripture and embrace it as our sole authority for every issue of life.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV) 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.


  • To honor our commitment to Christ through communion, fellowship, prayer and ministry to others.

Acts 2:42 (ESV) And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 


  • To pray without ceasing, giving thanks in everything and rejoicing forevermore knowing this is the will of God.

 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV) 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.


  • To demonstrate true love by seeking, serving and protecting the wellbeing of others.

John 13:34-35 (ESV) 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”


  • To be honest and truthful in all we do and say; refusing our character to be compromised.

2 Corinthians 4:2 (ESV) But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.


  • To recognize our sufficiency In Jesus Christ produces the meaningful purpose in life.

John 10:10 (ESV) The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 


  • To love, encourage, and correct each other as we do the work of the ministry, each taking responsibility for decisions and actions that impact the ministry.

Romans 12:5 (ESV) so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.


  • To work as unto the Lord with the highest degree of professionalism, productivity, and skill knowing this bring glory to God.

Colossians 3:17 (ESV) And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

dr. derrick e. reaves

Dr. Reaves has been the Senior Pastor of St. John Baptist Church in Corpus Christi, Texas, since 1998. He tirelessly works to prepare the body of Christ for the work of the Church and believes in calling individuals from spiritual death to everlasting life. He preaches with authority and power from the anointing of the Holy Spirit. His message and delivery exemplify his belief in the Word of God. He has a burden for souls and a desire to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to help build up the Kingdom of God.   
Dr. Reaves earned a Bachelor of Science in Social Psychology from Park University in 1989, followed by a Master of Divinity from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in 1993 and a Doctor of Ministry from Dallas Theological Seminary in 2008. 
 He has served as an adjunct professor at Stark College and Seminary (SCS), as well as on the Board of Trustees and as Chair of the Academic Committee. Pastor Reaves has worked with diverse cultures and communities, teaching philosophy courses on contemporary moral issues at Howard Payne University and the University of Maryland Asian Division. Additionally, he has served congregations in Illinois, Texas, New Mexico, and The Republic of South Korea, and retired as a Major from the United States Air Force Reserve Chaplaincy in October 2005.
He has served the community leading the St. John church to serve persons impacted by Hurricane Harvey, and led the church to partner with Child Welfare/Child Protective Services and other local churches to implement the Care Portal Ministry to meet the physical needs of families in crisis. Safely led the church through a deadly COVID-19 global pandemic. Immediately created a Ten-person ministry team to provide worship, Bible Study, and Small Groups via social media platforms so the members could continue to worship. Led St. John to become one of the hub sites for a drive-thru of the 1st and 2nd doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccinations.  The physical and spiritual health and well-being of the church family and the community are his first and foremost concerns.
 Served as a Commissioner on various boards and committees, including the Human Relations Commission, Mayor’s Advisory Committee, and Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of the Coastal Bend. Past positions include President of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance and Board Member of the National Council for Community Justice. Also served as Moderator of the Corpus Christi Baptist Association, Board Member of the Corpus Christi Crime Stoppers, and Commissioner to the Ethics Commission of the City Council of Corpus Christi, Texas. 
  Dr. Reaves was born in Chicago, Illinois, the second of three children. He was ordained to the Gospel Ministry on December 16, 1979, in Chicago, Illinois. He is married to Mrs. Denise Reaves, and they have two adult children, D.J. and Danny.


Our journey has been a long one, but God has been with us all the way.  Here are some highlights and achievements we have been blessed to see along the way. 


  • The church was organized by a group of Indianola hurricane survivors.  Services are held in Gusset's Barn.                   


  • The church building was erected at 1000 North Broadway Street in Corpus Christi.


  • Choir organized.


  • Church moved to 1305 Ramirez Street.

1929 - 1940

  • A new church building was erected at 1305 Ramirez. Property adjacent to the church was purchased, and a church parsonage was erected.

1941 - 1945

  • Church annex built.

1948 - 1955

  • Radio broadcast.


  • Church Band Organized.


  • Parsonage was purchased at 1709 Stillman.


  • 3-1/2 acres of land purchased at 5445 Greenwood Dr.


  • Rev. Harold T. Branch initiated Unified Budget System.


  • The church membership voted to relocate to Greenwood Dr.


  • Groundbreaking ceremonies held 4th Sunday in January.


  • Purchase of Church Annex.


  • Purchase of 2-3/4 acres of land.


  • Church damaged by Hurricane Beulah.


  • Groundbreaking ceremonies were held in August for a new sanctuary.   Sanctuary construction began in October.                                                      


  • Entered new Sanctuary May 18th.


  • Church damaged by Hurricane Celia, renovation to church parsonage.   Built new custodial house and utility building.                                                          


  • Air conditioning of the Educational Building.


  • Inaugurated a new church training program called “Church, The Sunday Night Place to Be”.


  • 100th Church Anniversary.


  • 115th Church Anniversary.


  • The church embarked on a refurbishment and building program.


  • The church received a Historical Marker from the Nueces County Historical Commission.


  • March 11—Rev. Wellington A. Johnson, Sr. resigned.
  • April 23—Rev. Cecil C. Walker, Jr. was called to serve as the Coordinating Minister.


  • May 13—Rev. Derrick E. Reaves accepted the call to Pastor St. John Baptist Church.
  • October - Rev. Reaves was installed as the 17th Pastor of St. John Baptist Church.  During the first four months of his Pastorate, worship attendance increased by 60%.


  • The mission of the church was defined. "We are a church built around the five-fold purpose Christ has established for his church: Worship, Evangelism, Discipleship, Ministry, and Fellowship."
  • The Financial Operation is enhanced by the creation and publishing of the General Fund  Operating Procedures.


  • Purchased 4.5 acres of land for $10,000.
  • Birth is given to our F.A.I.T.H. Evangelism Strategy.


  • Children’s Church Ministry created.


  • Purchased a new church van. 


  • To aid in our embracing a Spirit-filled dynamic worship service, a new grand piano and keyboard were purchased.


  • The church became debt free!


  • Renovation Campaign.


  • The Year of Destiny! God called us to be a church of prayer.
  • Mary K. Jackson was selected as the first female trustee to serve in the St. John Church.


  • Major renovation project.
  • Weekly Television Ministry on Fox MyKTOV network and Public Access channels began.
  • Deacon Emeritus was established to honor our senior saint deacons.


  • The church celebrates a decade of Pastor Reaves leadership.
  • Pastor  Reaves earned his Doctorate from Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas, TX.
  • A daily radio ministry was established on radio station KSGR 91.1 F.M.


  • Adopted an amendment to the church constitution regarding Human Sexuality.
  • Adopted the St. John Ministry Core Values.


  • Partnered with South Texas School of Christian Studies (STCS) and Corpus Christi Baptist  Association (CCBA) to build the Dr. Harold T. Branch Baptist Mission Center on our property.                    


  • Celebrated 138th Church Anniversary and 52nd Homecoming and marked another milestone by ordaining five new deacons in the St. John church.


  • One-on-One With God Discipleship Training.
  • Church Three-Day Fast.
  • Renovation of Children and Youth Areas.
  • New Church LED/Marquee Sign


  • Major renovation project of Parking Lot and Fellowship Hall floors.
  • Celebrated 140th Church Anniversary and 54th Homecoming.
  • Baptist Church Loan Corporation Loan was adopted for $262,000.00.
  • Willie Boulden and Terry Brown were added to the Trustee Ministry.
  • The Church Website was started.
  • Online giving was made available.


  • The Mission Process Development team was created to develop and implement a process that will fulfill our God-given mission of "Equipping Christians to Love God, Love People, and Make Disciples."  The Church Mission Statement and Logo were simplified to read, "The St. John Church exists to equip Christians to Love God, Love People, and Make Disciples.
  • Celebrated 141st Church Anniversary and 55th Homecoming.
  • Church 3-Day Fast and Prayer vigil.
  • Holy Week Revival.
  • Celebrated 18th Pastoral Appreciation
  • Appointed a new deacon (Willie Boulden).
  • Class 201 (Spiritual Maturity) was replaced by the One-on-One with God Discipleship Study.
  • St. John partnered with Child Welfare/Child Protective Services and other local churches to implement the CarePortal Ministry to meet the physical needs of families in crisis.
  • Addendum to Benevolent Policy to include the funding of the CarePortal Ministry.
  • New Wednesday Night format of activities for the entire family was implemented.


  • Hurricane Harvey hits Corpus Christi damaging the church building.
  • Church mobilizes to provide relief efforts to the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey.
  • Celebrated 19th Pastoral Appreciation.
  • Introduced new Small Group curriculum Disciples Path:  The Journey.
  • Made amendments to By-Laws.
  • Revised Funeral Policy & Bereavement Support Information.
  • Amended Church Constitution.
  • Appointed a new deacon (Milton "Joe" Grisham).


  • Celebrated 20th Pastoral Appreciation
  • Negotiations with Texas Windstorm Insurance Association to make repairs to the church.
  • Junious Williams was appointed Deacon Emeritus.


  • Rev. Lewis Johnson was ordained to serve as Youth Pastor on August 25th.
  • Celebration 21st Pastoral Appreciation.
  • Parking Lot was resealed.
  • Hired a second part-time custodian.


  • A deadly COVID-19 pandemic invades the world.
  • Government Stay-at-Home orders were issued.
  • For the safety of all persons, especially those with compromised immune systems, the Church Building temporarily closed.
  • All ministry activities were postponed.
  • Administrative staff worked from home.
  • Created ZOOM Bible Study and Small Groups.
  • Ten-person ministry team provided online worship via YouTube and FaceBook social media, as well as other on-demand formats.
  • Food Bank Ministry remained operational to feed the community.
  • House of Worship was finally considered "Essential Services."
  • Wisdom dictated we continue our safety protocols (temperature checks, completion of CDC questionnaire, social distancing, and wearing of masks while in the St. John Building).
  • Church Security Team was established, and David Hastings was appointed Ministry Director.
  • Ordained two deacons (Thomas Phillips and Delton Young).


  • St. John became one of the hub sites for a drive-thru of the 1st and 2nd doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccinations.
  • A strategic plan was implemented, allowing 50% of the congregation to gather for in-house worship; all others were encouraged to worship online.
  • The Deacon Ministry continued to be creative in serving the congregation during the COVID-10 pandemic.
  • A new attendance plan was implemented, allowing 75% of the congregation to gather for in-house worship; all others were encouraged to worship online.
  • In August, all plans to reopen at 100% were postponed due to a new Delta variant of COVID-19 that was rapidly spreading in Nueces County.
  • In October, after prayerfully observing the CDC, state, county, and local health department notices concerning the transmission of COVID-19, the church decided to implement 100% reopening, with all attendees being welcomed back to Sunday morning worship effective Sunday, November 14th.
  • The church continues to follow safety protocols, as the health and well-being of our church family and community are our first and foremost concerns.
  • Small Groups and Bible Study continues virtually only.
  • Celebrated 23rd Pastoral Appreciation.
  • The New Members class was transformed into a virtual session on YouTube.
  • Vacation Bible School was held virtually.
  • A 24/7 Prayer line was established.
  • The 4th Sunday was designated as Children/Youth Sunday.
  • The Deacon's Newsletter was published.
  • Celebrated 146th Church Anniversary and 60th Homecoming.