Rev. Chester Riggins, Pastor Emeritus.
The of East Florence Avenue renaming was passed overwhelmingly by the Planning
Commission and the dedication ceremony was held on June 23, 2007. The church address is now
1550 E. Rev. Chester Riggins Avenue!
Under Pastor Scott’s leadership, Saint Rest had experienced phenomenal growth, both spiritually
and numerically. Spiritual growth has revitalized our commitments to tithes and offerings,
which allowed Saint Rest to eliminate debt, upgrade office equipment, install a financial
management system, and redesign an area in the church for the exclusive use of Sharron’s Place,
our nursery and toddler’s room. His leadership led him to establish the planning core team for
the purpose of fulfilling the vision of Kingdom Building and the Hope Center. Under Pastor
Scott’s tremendous leadership, the church applied for and received 501(c) (3) approval, and with
the approval, we have been able to establish the Saint Rest Economic Development Corporation.
For five (5) years, the Lord led Pastor Scott to take Saint Rest to unforeseen growth and
recognition. In 2011, Pastor Scott resigned to continue his anointed call in Watts, CA.
By the moved of the Lord, the church asked the Children, Youth and Young Adult Pastor, D.J.
Criner, to serve as Interim Pastor in October of 2011. As the Interim Pastor, the church was led
to remodel the sanctuary, nursery, social hall and trustee room. Interim Pastor Criner re-
established the mass choir, the marriage ministry, and the Hallelujah night.
Under his interim leadership the neighborhood night walk was started, held a Press Conference
in Lieu of the Trayvon Martin Verdict, the father/son breakfast was delegated to Deacon Dale
Knott to lead, the Wednesday worship, along with the USDA/Food Bank giveaways which feeds
more than 500 families a month.
On June 18, 2013 Pastor DJ Criner was called by God as the Senior Pastor of the Saint Rest
Baptist Church and through prayer and trusting in God. Since his calling we have been blessed to
acquire and partner with West Fresno Family Resource Center for the obtaining of the California
and Elm Gym in November 2012. Opened a produce market to give fresh produce to our
community. Upgraded our media and video ministry. Began work on creating a park and green
space for the Saint Rest community in 2013.
Twelve (12) associate ministers have been added to the ministerial team; David Criner, Sr., Israel
Abdelaziz, Dale Knott, Paul Holland, Jr., Archie-dupree Copeland, Sheila White Hattie
McCullar, Marvin Whittle, Bryson White (now obtaining doctorate in Chicago, IL), Olivia
Whittle, Rodney Hall, Michael Burton, and the welcoming back of Ron Smart.
Noon day Bible study was added to the teaching line-up as well as 11:00am Hour of Power and
Prayer. The creation of our dynamic Prayer Ministry, engaging Face-2- Face Ministry, re-
establishment of the Rosebud Choir and the introduction of the Praise Teens who in 2014 opened
for Vickie Winans at the Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium. The reorganizing of our children and
youth ministry under the leadership of Children and Youth Pastor Archie Copeland has seen
more children and teens in the church then there is room to hold them.
In July of 2014 we were honored to have Farmer John’s donate their building to the Saint Rest
Baptist Church for the expansion of our food distribution ministry.