Our Pastor

The Reverend Forrest Dickey is native of Roberta/Musella, Georgia (Crawford County) and a 1985 graduate of Crawford County Comprehensive High School; a graduate of The Fort Valley State University (1990) where he received a BBA Degree in Marketing Management; a Master of Divinity Degree in Homiletics & Worship from The Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in 2012.

Rev. Dickey is also an ordained Intinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church (2004) and has served as Senior Pastor of seven various AME churches comprising four of the six conferences in the State of Georgia (Macon, Savannah, Augusta, and Atlanta).
For 21 years, Rev. Dickey has left indelible marks of leadership to the congregations he has pastored. He is known for his spirit-filled preaching, gifts of church growth, debt eradication, fiscal stabilization, and building and design.
He is the newly appointed Senior Pastor of St Paul AME Church of Macon, Georgia. This church is very dear to Pastor Dickey because he is the first minister reared, developed, and trained in St Paul to become its Senior Pastor in its 150 year + history.
Rev. Dickey is married to the former Ms. Lydia Fowler of Jeffersonville, Georgia and the proud parents of three wonderful sons, Marq, Christian, and Zion.

Church History

Saint Paul A.M.E. Church has its beginning in the home of Sister Mary Larey in the year 1870. She and her husband, Brother Elder Larey, lived in a community near Macon known as Lareysville. She first organized a prayer meeting in her home and invited the neighbors to worship with her once a week. It was not long before the room proved to be too small to accommodate the congregation each week. Sister Larey also organized a Sunday School and gathered together the children of that community for instruction. The Blue-Black speller and Turner’s Catechism were the literature mostly used.

Her daughter, Lizzie Larey, who afterward became Sister Lizzie Harris, was the first Sunday School teacher. This mission grew very rapidly and it was not long before they needed a minister to preach to them. Rev. W.H. Pack, at that time pastor of Steward Chapel AMEC, sent Brother Sipio Robinson, a local preacher of his church, to pastor them.

Sister Mary Larey was an African Methodist and her husband, Mr. Elder Larey, was a Missionary Baptist. The two congregations continued to grow so rapidly that Brother Larey’s denomination met on one Sunday and Sister Larey’s denomination met the next. But the time came when both denominations could not continue to exist in peace at the same meeting place. Subsequently, Brother London Armstrong, who had bought a plot of land, in what is now known as North Highland, gave the Methodists a piece of this land for an AME Church, while the Baptist group became known as Lizzieboro Baptist Church.

Thus, it can be clearly seen that from this small beginning in Mr. and Mrs. Larey’s home, two strong and progressive churches have grown, one an African Methodist and the other a Missionary Baptist.

In 1872, Saint Paul, then a Mission, joined the Macon Georgia Annual Conference and was assigned to the Camp Hope Circuit. Rev. I.N. Fitzpatrick was appointed as the first pastor. He served faithfully for two years. Many pastors followed Rev. I.N. Fitzpatrick, and the church membership continued to grow.

Powell Road, Macon GA

In 1888, under the pastorate of Rev. D.K. Knight, Saint Paul became a station church. The church moved to the corner of Powell and Martha streets. The first parsonage was built during Rev. Knight’s administration. As the years passed, the church membership increased.

Rev. R.L Smith was pastor when the East Macon section was taken over by the Urban Renewal. Land was purchased at a new site to erect a church. Due to Rev. Smith’s failing health, he was not able to complete his term at Saint Paul AMEC.

Rev. C.E. Wells, Sr. was then appointed to succeed Rev. Smith. He served faithfully and instrumentally in planning the present structure. In 1967, Rev. E.S. Mallory was appointed pastor. He served fifteen years. The church mortgage was liquidated during his administration. Dr. T. Nathaniel Hercules came to Saint Paul in June 1982. He broadened the ministry of the church by introducing new programs. Rev. Hercules was a great leader, administrator and organizer. A loan was secured and the church was renovated.

Morrow Avenue, Macon GA

On June 27, 1985, Rev. Gabriel S. Hardeman was appointed and was faced with an indebtedness of $45,000. With his sound leadership and the help of God, he was able to liquidate the indebtedness of the church in less than three years.

Nineteen eighty-nine marked a year of a dramatically different nature in the history of Saint Paul A.M.E. Church. Terence Renard Gray was appointed as pastor under the administration of Bishop John Hurst Adams. He ushered in a new vision for the church, its worship, its praise, its giving, its teaching and its evangelism.

The church’s original mission statement was adopted on an annual retreat in 1994. The mission statement was “The mission of Saint Paul Church shall be to save souls for Christ through dynamic, inspirational worship services witnessing to the unsaved/unchurched and through ongoing spiritual growth and developmental activities for all persons, resulting in the total empowerment of individuals and families in and outside our community”.

At a subsequent retreat in 2003, the mission statement was modified and now reads, “The mission of Saint Paul is to win souls for Christ through inspirational, anointed teaching, worship, witness and fellowship to nurture and empower Christian disciples.
Pastor Gray organized five choirs, a Praise Team, and a musical staff of ten. A dance and drama ministry provided an additional medium in the worship experience. A T.G.I.F. (Thank God I’m Free) service was added in 1997 and a Tuesday Night Service was added in 1999. Under pastor Gray’s leadership, the church membership increased from 375 to 1200 in March 2001.

Tithes and offerings increased. In 1989, Saint. Paul generated $62,000 in income. In 2000, resources had increased to $726,000. The church’s financial philosophy also focused on revitalization and reclaiming of the community. Along with purchasing a new parsonage in 1994, the church also purchased properties surrounding its facility. Stocks, money market accounts, and mutual funds complete the financial portfolio of this dynamic church administration.

The Pauline Group was incorporated in 1998. This group represented an outgrowth of the financial ministry of St. Paul and its focus on community revitalization. In 1998, the Pauline group purchased Unity Cuts and Styles, a beauty and barber shop located within 2 miles of the church facility. The church also embarked on an ambitious building program in 1998 when it purchased 20 acres a land located at 2501 Shurling Drive.

Having served the longest tenure of any pastor of Saint Paul A.M.E. Church, Pastor Gray was appointed by Bishop McKinley Young to serve as Senior Pastor of Saint Mark A.M.E. Church in Orlando, Florida in November 2004.

In December 2004, Rev. Ernest Gordon of Saint James A.M.E. Church in Savannah, Georgia was appointed the 47th pastor of Saint Paul A.M.E. Church- Macon. A vision was in place on his arrival and came to fruition when the new worship facility at 2501 Shurling Drive was completed. The first worship service at the new location was held on December 31, 2005. Under Rev. Gordon’s guidance, the church was able to pay off a $30,000 debt on Unity Cuts and Styles. God called many soldiers to begin their ministry under Rev. Gordon’s tenure. They included Torris Woolfolk, Sonja Jackson, Stan Grier, Sidney Watson, Sandra Simmons and Ashley Johnson.
Several ministries were initiated during his tenure, including the GAPP Ministry, an after school program serving the East Macon community, which provided after school tutoring and homework assistance by spiritual, caring and qualified instructors. The GAPP Ministry provided a safe haven for children up to age 13 for a minimal cost. The Brownie/Girl Scout Troop was started along with the Step/Dance Team (S.O.S. Souls of Salvation), which ministered in dancing and stepping unto the Holy Spirit. In January 2007, the children’s church was established under the direction of First Lady, Delores Gordon.

Rev. Gordon was a thorough, enthusiastic and energetic leader and also a deliverer of the Word. He served Saint Paul for 2 ½ years.
On May 11, 2007, Bishop William P. DeVeaux appointed Ronald L Slaughter as the 48th pastor of Saint Paul A.M.E. Church. Upon his arrival, Pastor Slaughter declared that “It’s a New Season” (Isaiah 43:18-19) and what a season it was. Pastor Slaughter was faced with many challenges pertaining to the overall well-being of Saint Paul. The church was financially strapped, membership was declining, and the faith of existing members was at an all-time low. Most of the aforementioned was due to the construction of the 2501 facility. The three-million-dollar loan obtained in June 2004 along with the $500,000 borrowed in June 2005 was all still in construction loan status when Pastor Slaughter arrived. 

Rev. I.N. Fitzpatrick 1872-1874
Rev. Joshua Brown 1874-1876
Rev. H.C. Boyd 1876-1879
Rev. Henry Lester 1879-1882
Rev. George Campbell 1882-1886
Rev. L.G. Garey 1886-1889
Rev. D.K. Knight 1889-1893
Rev. George Holmes 1893-1894
Rev. H.H. Cromottee 1894-1896
Rev. A.B.B. Gibson 1896-1898
Rev. John Cooper 1898-1899
Rev. P.W. Greatheart 1899-1902
Rev. H.B. Bush 1902-1904
Rev. H.P. Holmes 1904-1905
Rev. E.E. Griggs 1905-1909
Rev. R.M. King 1909-1912
Rev. S.B. Cymes 1912-1914
Rev. F.C. Crayton 1914-1915
Rev. L.H. Smith 1915-1922
Rev. J.H. Hall 1922-1924
Rev. J.T. Este 1924-1925
Rev. J.T. Hall 1925-1926
Rev. C.H. Wiley 1926-1928
Rev. A.D. Hardeman 1928-1929
Rev. J.S. Bryant 1929-1931
Dr. T.J. Davis 1931-1933

Rev. R.J. Jefferson 1933-1935

Rev. G.W. Scott 1935-1937

Rev. C.H.S. Hunter 1937-1939

Rev. D.W. Perkins 1939-1940

Rev. J.H. Edge 1940-1947

Rev. C.K. Knight 1947-1948

Rev. E.J. Hidley 1948-1948

Rev. G.S. Hardeman 1948-1949

Rev. J.H. Lissemore 1949-1956

Rev. Wilson 1956-1956

Rev. W.P. Carter 1956-1958

Rev. J.C. Solomon 1958-1962

Rev. Curtis Boddy 1962-1964

Rev. E.F. Riley 1964-1966

Rev. R.L. Smith 1966-1966

Rev. Dr. C.E.. Wells 1966-1967

Rev. J.C. Solomon, Presiding Elder (Interim)

Rev. E.S. Mallory 1967-1982

Rev. Dr. T.N.Hercules 1982-1985

Rev. G.S. Hardeman 1985-1989

Rev. Terence R. Gray 1989-2004

Rev. Ernest Gordon 2004-2007

Rev. Ronald L. Slaughter 2007-2011

Rev. Dr. W. Jerome McClain 2011-2013

Rev. Robert J. Angrish 2013-2014

Rev. Michael G. Ephraim 2014-2019

Rev. Kevin T. Moore 2019-2023

Rev. Forrest Dickey 2023 –

His first challenge was to convert the three-year construction loan into a permanent loan so that the church would not have to continue paying interest and no principle on the loan. By the grace of God, commitment of the members of Saint Paul, and the 6th Episcopal District, the loan was converted to permanent status in October 2007.

The next challenge for Pastor Slaughter was to determine how to finally complete the 2501 project, which was now a 3-year-old project. Once again God moved and the members of Saint Paul stepped up to another level and because of that, the bank agreed to loan Saint Paul an additional $800,000 is to complete the project. Construction for the addition began in November 2007 and was completed in March 2008. The additional construction provided Saint Paul with 9 additional classrooms, 5 administrative offices, a boardroom, a resource room, an archive room, a finance room, and a multipurpose fellowship hall that accommodates 350 people. This was definitely “a new season” for Saint Paul A.M.E. Church. Although most of Saint Paul’s energy was focused on the completion of the 2501 facility, God blessed us in other areas. 

Over 300 souls were won for Christ and added to our church in 3 ½ years. The church was able to liquidate debt, purchase a new church marquee, install a new sound system, altar, pulpit podium, and furnish the entire new facility.
Rev. Slaughter served as Pastor of Saint Paul from May 2007 to June 2011. 

On June 17, 2011, Bishop William P. DeVeaux appointed Rev. Dr. W. Jerome McClain as the 49th pastor of Saint Paul A.M.E. Church. Rev. McClain introduced a fundraiser titled “The Discipleship Program to help raise supplemental funds for the church. He also enhanced bible study with teachings from the Holy Bible as well as from a book he wrote, “The Power of Prayer”, which incorporated 12 to 16-week study guide. Rev. McClain served as pastor of St. Paul from June 2011 the January 5, 2013.

On Saturday, January 12, 2013, Bishop Preston W. Williams II appointed Rev. Robert G. Angrish to serve as the 50th pastor of Saint Paul A.M.E. Church. He preached his first sermon as pastor on Sunday, January 13 2013. Under Rev. Angrish’s administration, the church to face many challenges to include financial limitations. Rev. Angrish approached the challenges with a mindset to meet them head-on. Some difficult decisions were made in order to impact church finances. 

In other areas of church life, Rev. Angrish enhanced the Children’s Church with curriculum that addressed the needs of our young children. The Youth Department was assigned the fourth Sunday to display their talents the Lord and to the church. They were responsible for most of the worship service (prayer, scripture, songs and the offering. The Christian education department was enhanced to allow ministers to teach on a rotational basis, which also served to enhance their ministerial development. The
Clothing Bank was established to provide clothing, shoes, and other items for anyone in need. The items for the bank were donated by members and friends. The Intercessory Prayer Ministry was reestablished and met weekly for prayer for the membership, and the community.

On Saturday, September 6, 2014, Bishop Preston W. Williams II appointed Rev. Michael G. Ephraim, Sr. to serve as the 51st pastor St. Paul AME church. He preached his first sermon as pastor on Sunday, September 7, 2014. Pastor Ephraim is no stranger to Saint Paul. He had ties with us as far back as 1989. He was also the first speaker to preach our Law Enforcement Day service in 2008.

Saint Paul is certainly a church known for its Faith and we are known for our Praise. We have endured many challenges, but God continues to bring us through. We continue to be faithful and we have even more to praise God for.

Under Rev. Ephraim’s leadership, Saint Paul has increased the opportunities to worship. We have two services each Sunday (7:00 AM and 9:30 AM). The church also began a Breakfast Ministry each Sunday morning. Our Bible Study, held each Wednesday at 12:00 noon and 6:30 PM, has experienced a new level of teaching and learning. Our Evangelism Ministry has been reestablished and is busy in the community spreading the goodness of the Lord. The Media Ministry is growing fast with new and updated features for our website, online calendar, online giving, online sermons, etc.

A Prayer Room was designed for Wednesday night Prayer Meeting at 6:00 PM. Also a Prayer Call toll- free number is in place for those who are unable to attend but would like to call in each Wednesday at 6:05 PM.

Rev. Ephraim appointed a Minister of Music, established a mass choir, youth choir, and men’s choir, made appointments to the positions of Christian Education Director, Youth Church Director, Projects Director, assigned new duties to Stewards and Trustees, established the Finance Commission and reestablished the Class Leader Ministry. He has increased the church membership and positively impacting the financial stability of the church.

Under Rev. Ephraim’s leadership community activities have developed such as health fairs, back-to-school bash, city-wide baby showers, to name a few.

Rev. Ephraim presented a new Mission Statement to the church: “A community of believers building better lives for God’s people by recruiting disciples to enhance the kingdom through service, stewardship, and sacrifice.”

Saint Paul is excited about the spirit and freshness that Pastor Ephraim brings in his preaching, teaching and singing. He loves the Lord and he loves God’s people. We look forward to worshiping, working and witnessing under his leadership.

When asked to summarize the most valuable lesson he has learned, Pastor Mike, as his members call him, without hesitation quotes the scripture: “O taste and see that the Lord is good…”

On May 31, 2019, Bishop Reginald T. Jackson appointed the Reverend Dr. Kevin T. Moore to serve as the 52nd pastor of St. Paul AME Church. 

Our Staff

Rev. Forrest Dickey
Senior Pastor
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Isaac O. Grant
Office Manager
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Brenda K. Hollingshed
Executive Administrative Assistant
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Henry O. Lamar Jr.
Contributions Coordinator
Valencia L. Brown
Trustee Specialist
Armand Brown
App Coordinator
Marques D. Brown
Media Specialist