He had done a meeting in Tampa only 22 miles away; therefore, it was said that not only did he come to St. Petersburg once, but often. It was reported that he did three tent meetings here in the St. Petersburg area which resulted in 92 souls being added to the body of Christ. The late Brother Lonnie Smith assisted in this meeting as song leader. He returned several times after that and held gospel meetings in the church building after things were established.
The late Brother Luke Miller became the first minister of the Twentieth Street congregation. Brother Miller divided his time between congregations in St. Petersburg, Lakeland and Tampa. He was baptized by Brother Keeble in Decature, Alabama, and led longs in may of his Gospel meetings.
The late Brother John R. Vaughner became the second minister of this congregation in which he served for many years. The church continued to grow during that time. Brother Vaughner was succeeded by the following ministers who had a part in developing this great congregation: Brothers O.L. Acker, A.E. Perkins, Jesse Burson, William Whitaker, A.W. Fizhugh, E.W. Way, S.J. Dudley, R.V. Simmons and current minister R.E. Smith.
During Brother Robert V. Simmons tenure, this congregation experienced an unprecedented growth. In 1962, there were 149 baptisms and several years thereafter, this congregation baptized over 100 people each year. The old church auditorium was enlarged and an educational complex added to the building. On June 25, 1989, a new edifice was dedicated which seats over 1300 souls.
The 20th Street Church of Christ is an evangelistic church and has established congregations in Clearwater, Ocala, Arcadia, Tarpon Springs, all in Florida, and in Bainbridge, Georgia. Our congregation has assisted in the development of many congregations throughout our brotherhood.