St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church is the oldest Missionary Baptist Church in Florence, Alabama. In 1859, a group of Christians began worshipping in a brush arbor on this site. John Portlock, Trustee for colored members of the Missionary Baptist Church, purchased the parcel of land at this site for fifteen dollars. The title deed was dated March 31, 1859. The same parcel was conveyed to John Polk, Richard Foster, and Abraham Jackson, trustees of the church, on December 23, 1873. The first building at this location was a frame structure erected under the leadership of Rev. Ephraim Cordie White. The present structure was erected in 1901 with Rev. L. J. Green as pastor. St. Mark was incorporated on October 7, 1950. In 1951, the church was renovated with Rev. Dr. George E. Nelson as pastor. The educational facility was added in 1974. During its long history, the church has been served by the highly qualified and respected pastors named above as well as by Rev. Judge Johnson, Rev. Rufus Slack, Jr., Rev. James E. Coleman, and Bishop Dr. Will Boyd. Through all the years, St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church has served its congregation and the community with distinction.