On November 15, 1997, Bishop John R. Bryant appointed Rev. Roderick D. Dawson as the thirty fourth pastor of the Historical St Paul AME Church, Houston. He, First Lady Dawson, and family have been a blessing to the St. Paul Church family. The Dawson family has been formidable in attaining St. Paul’s vision for God’s people. In 1998, Pastor Dawson was instrumental in the establishment of the St Paul AME Church Community Development Corporation. In June of 2000, a community growth and expansion study of the First Ward led to a transitional move.