Rev. James L. Gordon, Founder / Pastor

James Gordon was born on February 15, 1954 in Clarksdale, MS., where he lived until he was three. His family moved to Chicago, IL in 1958 and on to Mt. Vernon, IL in 1959. During this time James Attended Thomas Edison Grade School, Casey Junior High, and graduated for Mt. Vernon Township High School in 1972.

James furthered his education at Rend Lake Junior College and Southern Illinois University majoring in sociology. He served two years in the U. S. Army (1976-1977), receiving an honorable discharge and numerous others awards. This period was a blessing, because while serving in the military, James began his ministry. He was able to attend the International Bible College in Wiesbaden, Germany, which in included ministers from 30 countries. James was ordained as a minister in 1980.


Reverend James Gordon worked for Southern IL University from 1982 until 1986; the year he founded Southtown Apostolic Church and Youth Programs. Southtown has developed into a base for Mt. Vernon residents, providing support, assistance, and some direct services for 300 youth and their families each month.

Reverend Gordon was among 200 ministers in the nation invited to the White House’s first ever Faith-Based Conference in Washington, D. C., in 2001. Reverend Gordon has received appointments to various state-wide boards and commissions by Governors James Thompson, Jim Edger, George Ryan, and Rod Blagojevich’s transition team committee.

With the efforts of volunteers and community leaders, Southtown has been able to generate over 11 million dollars in programs and community improvements for the residents of the south-side neighborhoods of Mt. Vernon, IL and Jefferson County. Reverend James Gordon, through Southtown Apostolic Church, Youth and Daycare Programs continues to serve children and their families in Mt. Vernon with positive youth development programs. In March of 2004, after 10 years of prayer and planning, Southtown moved into its newly built million dollar family center. The new facility has allowed Southtown to expand its programs and services to include onsite District #80 Schools Pre-K classes, teleconferencing capacity, and business development courses.

Reverend Gordon along with his lovely wife, Shirley, of thirty-two years is the proud parents of four beautiful children: James Jr. (30 yrs), Chad (27 yrs), Steffen (25 yrs), and Tiffany (24 yrs).

A few of his volunteer activities: Mt. Vernon Minority Affairs Committee, 1989-1996, Governor’s African American Family Commission, 1994-present, Governor’s Advisory Council Illinois Dept. DCFS, 1994-1999, Illinois Commerce Commission Round Table, 1989-1996, Jefferson County Branch NAACP, President, 1996-2003, Southern Illinois Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, President, 1998-Present, Illinois Council of Ar4ea Projects, 1998-Present, City of Mt. Vernon Minority Affairs an Human Relations Commission, 1998-2005.

Please see our worship schedule page.

Rev. James L. Gordon, Founder / Pastor

The Church where "Everybody is Somebody"

1108 South 15th Street - P.O. Box 725 - Mount Vernon, IL 62864 - 618-242-4077