Rev. Dr. J. Oscar Jones
In 1956, Rev. Dr. J. Oscar Jones was called to pastor the Mt. Pleasant Mission Church, then located on New York Boulevard (now known as Guy R. Brewer Blvd.) in Jamaica New York. Expanding his ministry, Dr. Jones envisioned a new church home for his mission and purchased the property formerly called First Baptist Church, a white congregation, on which the old original Saint Albans Baptist Church stood. This was a hallmark, for in doing so Saint Albans Baptist Church became the first black church in the area.
In December 1956, Dr. Jones held a meeting with a few members of the mission, the Chairman of the Board of Deacons, Deacon John Miles and other officers who agreed to change the name of Mt. Pleasant Mission to the Saint Albans Baptist Church, Inc. The first officers were: Deacon John Miles, Chairman of the Deacons; Sis. Alberta Morrison, President of Deaconesses; Sis Laura W. Brown, Minister of Music; Sis. Lewoner Wright, Church Clerk; Sis. Ruby Matthews Treasurer and Dr. J. Oscar Jones, Pastor. Sis. Mary Aarons who was a member of the First Baptist Church was named Mother of the church. The first services were held December 31, 1956, New Years Eve with a membership of seven people. In January 1957, Deacon and Sis Charles Eason were the first members to unite with Saint Albans Baptist Church.
In May 1957, Rev. Jones and his few members took title to their new home with an $800.00 a month mortgage which was paid off in record time in July of 1962. Two years later in 1964, the mortgage was burned in a glorious ceremony and the cornerstone was laid.
St. Albans continued to grow and under the leadership and charisma of Dr. Jones, the following ministries were augmented: The Board of Deacons, Board of Trustees, The Missionary Circle, The Usher Board and the Choir (known as the Celestial Choir) In January 1967, Dr. Jones and the Officers instituted a Budget Fund to purchase property for future expansion. In about four years the church raised $26,000 dollars for the fund.
Several assistant ministers were licensed by Dr. Jones: The late Rev. Randolph Mayo, Rev. Freddie Bottoms, Rev. A.R. Nelson, Min. Randolph Dean Min. Bobby Hodges and Rev. Mitchell R. Oleavia who would later become St. Albans’ second pastor. Deacons ordained by Rev. Jones were; N. Aarons, C. Eason, Earlie Jenkins, James Johnson, John Miles, Caesar Williams, T. Williams, and Oliver Young. The Deaconesses consecrated by Rev. Jones were; Eliza Carty, Gloria Cook, Maggie Diggs, Minerva Green, Clarissa Jenkins, Dolly Johnson, Cleo Miles, Alberta Morrison, Melvie Scott, Corrine Williams and Ernestine Young.
Dr. Jones who had been sick for some time was called, February 11, 1970, from labor to rest. The members of St. Albans who were caught up in “the dream” of the late Pastor Jones vowed to continue this great work. On December 31, 1970, Sis Hazel Jones, the late Pastor’s widow, was moved to sell her property to St. Albans Baptist Church at cost to help foster the vision of a new St. Albans Baptist Church.