The South Presiding Elder District is one of four presiding elder districts in the Philadelphia Annual Conference. This is the mother conference of the First Episcopal District and of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
St. paul AME CHurch
Pastor m. lloyd guyton
8398 Lindbergh Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19153
11 AM - Worship Service
Pastor M. Lloyd Guyton
Rev. M. Lloyd Guyton, affectionately known as Pastor Malcolm is a graduate of Turner Theological Seminary in Atlanta, GA. He is an ordained minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. With a preacher for a father and a teacher for a mother, Pastor Guyton inherited all of the attributes from his parents and weaved them into a ministry. His ministry is both cutting edge and out of the box. His sermons are inspiring and vibrant. Both witty and compelling, Pastor Guyton seeks to make the word of God plane to all who hear it. His real-life application of the Bible brings a fresh look at the practical life-lessons that are both timeless and relevant.
Pastor Malcolm is married to our Leading Lady, Lauren Nicole Guyton and they have two beautiful sons, Calvin and Rowan. Their partnership in ministry began in August of 2012 and they represent the perfect ideal of a family that prays together. His love of family shows through his promotion of family fellowship opportunities. Easily approachable, Pastor Guyton refuses to be removed or detached from the congregation. Before and after worship, he can be seen greeting guests or members of the church family. With fifteen plus years of pastoral experience, he is a confidant, mentor and advisor to many and we are proud to call him our pastor.
A Brief History of St. Paul AME Church
The History of Saint Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church In 1902, in the rural community called
Elmwood, in Southwest Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a few Christian Believers began to assemble from
home to home to worship God, to study the Holy Bible and to pray. In due season, the small group of 16
Christian Believers decided they wanted to become a church and agreed to seek admission to the
Philadelphia Annual Conference.
In 1903, Rev. Dr. J.M. Palmer, presented this body of Christian Believers to the 87th Session of the
Philadelphia Annual Conference and suggested that they be admitted. On June 21, 1903, the group of
Christian Believers were established in the Philadelphia Annual Conference as the “Elmwood Mission,
Fortieth Ward, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania”. The Elmwood Mission of the African Methodist Episcopal
Church began to have service in a tent erected on the property of Mr. and Mrs. John F. Thomas, members
of the church.
In 1903, the Elmwood Mission of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Harrisburg District, elected
its first Trustees: Charles Berkeley, Edmund G. Davis, Jacob A. Gibson, John F. Thomas and George C.
Tines. The Elmwood Mission directed the Trustees to buy the property of the Methodist Episcopal
Church, located at 85th Street and Tinicum Avenue, for the price of $1,100. In 1906, this indebtedness
was reduced to $603 by 24 members under the pastorate of Rev. W.H. King.
From 1903-1913, the Elmwood Mission steadily increased its membership and had a Sunday School of
67 pupils. It is believed that Rev. Dr. J.M. Palmer served as the first pastor in 1903. For a short time, Rev.
Dr. Theodore Gould served as pastor from May 1905 until September 1905. At that time, Rev. William J.
Johnston was appointed to the Elmwood Mission.
Other pastors were appointed as follows:
Rev. W.H. King 1906
Rev. T.H. Lawrence 1907
Rev. Charles V. Monk 1908
Rev. H.D. Lowber 1910-1913
On May 5, 1913, the members of the Elmwood Mission of the African Methodist Episcopal Church met
at a special meeting to consider the offer of the Most Reverend Edmond F. Predergast, Archbishop of the
Philadelphia Catholic Archdiocese, to purchase the lot where the Elmwood Mission was situated. A
quorum of members voted authorizing the Trustees to sell, grant and convey the 85th and Tinicum lot to
the Philadelphia Catholic Archdiocese for and in consideration of the sum of $600; a deed and
conveyance of 2 lots of ground situated at 86th Street and Bartram Avenue. Included was the removal, at
cost and expense of the purchaser, the frame Chapel structure with furnishings from 85th Street and
Tinicum Avenue to the newly acquired lots. Property settlement was made on June 20, 1913.
In 1917, a one-story brick church was erected; formally named Elmwood African Methodist Episcopal
Church. From 1919 to 1925, the Church continued to grow and had increased from three classes to seven.
In 1927, under the pastorate of Rev. E.T. Bundic, there were 10 classes. God continued to bless and the
Holy Spirit continued to add members to the Church until the membership outgrew the one-story brick
structure. A building fund was instituted in 1927, and the erection of the new building began. The
Cornerstone was laid in 1928.
Under the pastorate of Rev. E.H. Norris, from 1927-1928, internal strife developed in the Church due to
the high assessments imposed by the African Methodist Episcopal Church Connection. The issue: “Can
the Church continue its building project, pay its creditors and high assessments to the Connection and
survive?” This led the Officers to apply for and receive a Bill of Incorporation from Harrisburg,
Pennsylvania. A struggle amongst the members, the First Episcopal District and finally the legal court
system ensued. On the first Sunday of June 1928, the newly incorporated, independent Church of
approximately 300 members marched out of the Elmwood African Methodist Episcopal Church. The First
District ousted Rev. Norris and Rev. Parks was appointed. The split resulted in the Elmwood African
Methodist Episcopal Church to be reduced to Mission status with approximately 30 members of whom 2
were Stewards, 3 were Trustees and 5 were stewardesses.
At the 113th Philadelphia Annual Conference, May 15-19, 1929, the classes of the Elmwood African
Methodist Church dropped from the 11 classes reported the previous year to forty-seven members. These
members were faithful to the Church and God bless their faithfulness by steadfastly rebuilding the
Between 1928 until the 1940s, the Church struggled through the split of the Church, the throes of the
depression, the flood of 1933, and the war started by the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1943. God’s grace
and mercy prevailed through it all. As early as the 115th Philadelphia Annual Conference, June 8-9, 1932,
Rev. C.H. Whaley was sent to pastor the Church. At the 117th Philadelphia Annual Conference, May 18-
21, 1933, Rev. J.O. McCall was appointed as pastor of the Church. In the 1940s, the Church was able to
complete the main sanctuary and creditors began to be satisfied. In 1941, under the pastorate of Rev. W.J.
Townsend, Elmwood had 164 full members. In 1943, Elmwood African Methodist Episcopal Church
renamed and became St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church – Elmwood.
A very significant event occurred on Friday, March 30, 1959, when the $30,000 mortgage on the St. Paul
African Methodist Episcopal Church was burned! Rev. Matthew H. Nutter, Pastor, stated, “This is indeed
an auspicious occasion,” as he, members and friends celebrated the “end of this financial obligation.”
Bishop George W. Baber was the keynote speaker whose subject was, “What would this building be if it
had not been for the Spirit of Jesus Christ.” Another noteworthy event occurred in the early 1960s under
the pastorate of Rev. Matthew H. Nutter, when the Church was completely refurbished and brand new
padded pews and carpeting were installed. Another memorable occasion was the Church’s 75th
Anniversary Banquet on October 28, 1978, under the pastorate of Rev. Isaac O. Ryder, Jr.
On Sunday, August 7, 1983, a groundbreaking ceremony took place at St. Paul African Methodist
Episcopal Church under the pastorate of Rev. Percy L. Ransome. This was called “groundbreaking”
because of the extensive renovation that had been scheduled. However, due to unfortunate and very
disappointing circumstances, the total renovation failed and the men of the Church worked untiringly to
make the Church habitable again with very little financing. The women of the Church also assisted by
cleaning and beautifying the interior.
St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church was appointed their first woman pastor in May 1992; Rev.
Katherine Baker-Rose. She pastored the Church until May 1994.
During the initial plans of the Redevelopment Authority in 1958, the St. Paul African Methodist
Episcopal Church was excluded from the redevelopment condemnation plans for the Elmwood
community. However, the Church suffered reverse condemnation when the Redevelopment Authority
took the Church parsonage, parking lot and homes of members surrounding the area. In 1995, the St. Paul
African Methodist Episcopal Church was again approached by the Redevelopment Authority to relocate
in order to provide leverage for the City of Philadelphia to negotiate with Korman Corporation, the major
developer in Eastwick along with a new developer, PNC Bank. Korman Corporation agreed with the City
of Philadelphia to release the land desired by PNC Bank for their development. In exchange, Korman
Corporation would be compensated and given other properties that included the St. Paul African
Methodist Episcopal Church.
The Redevelopment Authority negotiated with the St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church to release
our Church property to the City of Philadelphia in exchange for 10 acres of land at 86th Street and
Lindbergh Boulevard, relocation costs and other monetary considerations. Meetings were held on
November 13, 1995, and November 12, 1996, with the Redevelopment Authority, City Council, Eastwick
PAC and First Episcopal Conference Trustees. The Redevelopment Authority, and other officials agreed
to do everything possible to assist the St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church in this transition. On
this basis, St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church members met at a Church meeting by vote by
ballot whether to move; all members present voted to move except for two. This was the first time
majority of the Church membership voted to move. This was the third time, since the late 1970s, that this
vote was presented to the Church body.
In 1999, St. Paul African Methodist Church experienced another setback due to another flooding. It was
as though a tornado had hit the church. Once again, the men of the Church, under the pastorate of Rev.
Charles H. Wood, did not become faint hearted, but put their shoulders to the task of making the Church
habitable again. Rev. Fleming, pastor of the Eastwick United Methodist Church, opened her church for
our Church to have service during this time.
From 1995 until now, 2003, proceedings have tediously been instituted to build a new sanctuary and
relocate the Church. On Saturday, September 7, 2002, under the pastorate of Rev. Eugene V. McDuffy,
groundbreaking services were held. Bishop Zedekiah L. Grady gave an awe-inspiring message. The
congregation then went to the proposed site for the new church, 84th and Lindbergh Boulevard for the
actual groundbreaking. The congregation returned to the Church for a delicious meal and fellowship.
Plans are still continuing with an anticipated completion date of the sanctuary in 2003. The Church will
celebrate its 100th Anniversary on Saturday, June 21, 2003.
Though plans were made to build and enter the new church edifice debt-free, there were construction and
financial roadblocks. There were three different contractors and a loan and mortgage was procured which
set our time frame to actually entering the church on February 16, 2008. Despite having a brand-new
building, St. Paul continues to make costly corrections and repairs.
After serving 12 years as the pastor of St. Paul, on February 8, 2013, during the 1st Episcopal District
Planning Meeting, Bishop Gregory G. M. Ingram transferred the Reverend Eugene McDuffy to Bethel,
AME Church in Reading, Pennsylvania. St. Paul welcomed their new pastor, Reverend Frank Isaac
Smart, II. Under Rev. Smart’s leadership, St. Paul has experienced many changes. Such as: the merging
of the Senior Choir and the Choral Ensemble, to become the Voices of St. Paul, the creation of the
Fellowship Choir, and the Men’s Fellowship, who meet every first Saturday.
During the four years that Pastor Smart was the pastor, St. Paul has been able to reduce the debt by 50%.
St. Paul has seen many improvements to the building and the audio-visual system.
In spite of trials and tribulations, disappointments and setbacks, the St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal
Church has steadfastly stood as a Lighthouse beside-the-side-of-the-road proclaiming Jesus – the Lamb of
God who takes away the sins of the world! God in His infinite, divine mercy has kept the Church using
unsung heroes down through the years that have cheerfully given of themselves and their means to keep
the Lighthouse burning for His Glory!
Pastors of St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church
Rev. W.J. Townsend 1936-1941
Rev. W.R. Gullins 1946-1950
Rev. William H. Smallwood 1950-1954
Rev. and Mrs. A. McNeil White 1956-1958
Rev. and Mrs. Matthew H. Nutter 1958-1966
Rev. and Mrs. Eugene N. Thornley 1966-1971
Rev. and Mrs. Isaac O. Ryder and Family 1971-1981
Rev. and Mrs. Percy L. Ransome 1981-1992
Rev. Katherine Baker-Rose 1992-1994
Rev. Charles H. Wood 1994-2001
Rev. Eugene V. McDuffy 2001-2013
Rev. Frank I. Smart, II 2013 – 2017
Rev. M. Lloyd Guyton 2017 - Present