Apostolic Pentecostal Church
901 Barracksview Road
St. Louis, MO  63125

Phone: (314) 894-8130
Fax: (314) 894-8133
 
Apostolic Pentecostal Church - Our Church History


"...I have a goodly heritage." - Psalm 16:6


The people of Apostolic Pentecostal Church have been in service to the Lord since 1935. During that time, our church has had three locations, four buildings, and been sheparded by four Pastors who have blessed our church with Godly guidance and wisdom through the power of the Holy Ghost! We thank God for all the blessings He has placed on our church throughout our history!
 





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The Beginning...11th and Hickory, 1935 - 1936

In 1935, a mission located at 11th and Hickory Streets in St. Louis, Missouri needed a pastor. One of its members, Sister Pratt, fleeced the Lord by asking God to have His choice for a pastor knock on their door at noon. At 12:00 in the afternoon, as the noon whistle blew, Harry W. Branding knocked on the Pratt's door. On April 13, 1935, he became pastor of the congregation.

The mission hall sat at the edge of the sidewalk with very little frontage. It was a small building, having only two rows of seats with an aisle in the middle. On the platform was an old tank that was used for baptisms. After being baptized the convert was led upstairs, with water dripping, to the Pratt's bathroom to change clothes.

The mission hall was hot, and the front door often stood open. A lot of people would come in off the streets to see what was going on. Brother Branding felt that prayer rooms were needed so that those seeking the baptism of the Holy Ghost would not be disturbed. In the basement, which had a dirt floor, two small prayer rooms were made and an old piece of carpet was put on the floor. These carpets were damp and moldy at times, which gave the place a peculiar aroma! After the preaching ended and the altar call was made, a trap door was lifted and people would go down the stairs to these rooms to seek for the Holy Ghost. One room was for the ladies and the other one was for the men.

In spite of the intense heat (it was so hot people were dying on the streets), people continued to seek God, and He blessed them! In the year of 1936, seventy-five souls received the Holy Ghost!
 





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The Familiar Location...13th and Gravois (Building 1), 1936 - 1958

God was moving and drawing people, and finally there was no more room in the mission. Brother Branding wanted to move with God, so he began to pray and fast, seeking God for a larger building. One night he had an unusual dream. He dreamed he was fishing and pulled out a large fish all prepared and baked. Concerned about the dream, he talked to the Lord about it. God spoke to him, "I have a building all prepared for you." It was then that Brother Branding was led to the church at 13th Street and Gravois. The congregation at 11th Street and Hickory agreed to buy the Bethlehem Congregational Church at a price of $7,350. The name was changed to "Apostolic Pentecostal Church" - the prepared fish had been landed!

The move began from the mission, leaving a lot of precious memories there but thankful that God had supplied a place of worship with lots of room. Now the church had a basement with several rooms, and the largest room was made into a prayer room. As saints entered the church, they went directly to the prayer room to pray before service.

Brother Branding would walk down the aisle of the church with Bible in hand, saying, "Praise the Lord!" He always entered with a praise on his lips. The church had come a long way. At first, Brother Branding feared that the people would not worship God as they had in the little mission. He did not want anything, including a nicer building, to come between the church and God or hinder their worship. Not long after this, as they were worshiping and praising God, His presence came down in a miraculous way, and the glory of the Lord filled the church. A blue smoke-like haze appeared, and all the people were on their knees praying and worshiping God. It was almost like reading the account of the dedication of Solomon's Temple.
 





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Rebuilding...13th and Gravois (Building 2), 1958 - 2004

Meanwhile the church grew and became a great landmark in south St. Louis. By April of 1949, the church set a record attendance of 505. It was evident that the old structure needed a tremendous amount of repairs. The slate roof of about fifty years old, with the slate nailed to the sheeting on the sides was constantly falling off and making the heating in the winter a great problem.

With these problems, Brother Branding and the congregation decided to leave and move to Grand Avenue near Longfellow and Hawthorne. Time passed and plans did not mature. Finally, Brother Branding heard the voice of the Lord saying the church had not been released from the 13th and Gravois location. Consequently, the old building was demolished by the men of the church. Work on the new building started immediately after major repairs were made to the foundation. During this time the church occupied a tent which was placed on the surplus ground for the 3rd Street Interregional Highway. In the fall of 1958, the building was finished and presented to the Lord.
 





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A New Home...901 Barracksview Road, 2004 - Present

In the mid-1990s, Pastor Willeford and the congregation saw the need for a new location since expansion at the current location wasn't feasible. Nearly five acres were purchased in cash at 901 Barracksview Road in South St. Louis County, and in August of 2004, Apostolic Pentecostal Church began services in its new facility on the property.