In 1959 there was only one church in Johnston, and Grant and Margaret Voorhees were in charge of running the youth group. The kids wanted to have a dance, but when the Voorhees asked the church leaders for permission, they said: "no dancing in church!" So Grant and Margaret set out to find other like-minded believers who wanted a place where kids could kick up their heels in joy without many uptight religious people getting their panties in a bunch. [Cue "Footloose" music.]
That search eventually resulted in the first service of St. Paul Presbyterian Church on December 5, 1959, with approximately 100 in attendance. Groundbreaking for St Paul's sanctuary, across from the Johnston Police and Fire Departments at 6426 Merle Hay Road, was held on November 25, 1962, and on October 14, 1984, a new addition housing eight classrooms, a fellowship hall, kitchen, and offices were dedicated.
St Paul has long been active in mission and ministry to the community. The Johnston Community Food Pantry Garden was started in 1999. Each year it provides much-needed fresh produce to clients of the Johnston Food Pantry. In 2004 the church added a Family Activity Center, a large gymnasium that is host to Boy Scout Troop 44 (sponsored by the church since 1979), the Fall Community Harvest Dinner, the Johnston Alternative Gift Market, Body and Spirit Fitness Ministry, and many sports teams that make extensive use of the gym at a minimal cost.
St Paul's current pastor, Bill O'Connell, began in August 2013. The church also has a Director of Youth & Family Ministries, Director of Music and Worship Arts, and office and custodial staff. St. Paul St Paul worships online and onsite every Sunday at 10:15 a.m. and welcomes everyone regardless of gender, race, economic status, or sexual orientation. It offers a full array of programs for children, youth, and adults.