Sundays @ 11:00 AM

Jackie Joyner Kersee Center | 101 Jackie Joyner Kersee Cir.| East St. Louis, IL 62204


"I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it." -The Lord Jesus Christ

It is with great expectations that we introduce you to City of Joy Fellowship, a new church plant coming to East Saint Louis, IL.

Jesus Christ is the head of the church and is himself its Savior (Eph. 5:23). Through his wrath-removing death on the cross and triumphant resurrection, he secured his church’s eternal salvation and satisfaction in him. It is for this reason that we joyfully acknowledge him as Savior, Lord and Leader of City of Joy Fellowship.

Jesus has been given all authority in heaven and on earth, which includes East St. Louis! And in this authority, he has commissioned his followers to make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:18-20).

In recent years, Kempton Turner has sensed the Spirit’s stirring to make disciples of Christ in East St. Louis by preaching the gospel and trusting Jesus to establish a local expression of his blood-bought church.

There are already churches in the area who are doing a good work and we want to serve and strengthen them. However, we also realize that the harvest of precious souls in East St. Louis is plentiful, and the Lord of the harvest is calling more laborers to go, love, and preach the gospel to them. We are trusting the Lord to raise up more co-laborers and partners to join us on this mission.

Would you partner with us? We are asking our Father in heaven to provide an army of praying believers who will intercede for the sake of gospel advancement in East St. Louis.  We are also asking our Father in heaven to provide for City of Joy Fellowship through generous financial partners who cheerfully give to this good work.

We are excited about what the Lord is doing and will do—through you!


“After working with Kempton Turner on the pastoral staff at Bethlehem Baptist for over 7 years, I can only anticipate God’s continued grace upon his life, family and ministry as he moves toward church planting in his hometown, East St. Louis. It is with great confidence that we, with unanimous elder support, are walking with him through our church planting residency program in order to partner together to see the vision for this new gospel-proclaiming and city-loving church become a reality for the glory of Christ.”

Kenny Stokes, Lead Pastor Downtown Campus & TCT Church Planting Network Director 

Bethlehem Baptist Church

“After spending any amount of time with Kempton, it is clear that he has the call, the character and the competency to plant this church in the context of East St. Louis. We’re excited to partner with Kempton and City of Joy to see Jesus made known, disciples made and lives transformed all over East St. Louis and the Greater St. Louis Metropolitan region.”

Noah Oldham, SEND Coordinator (St. Louis Metro Area)


Because the God who heals brokenness is in East Saint Louis

At best, East St. Louis is an enigma, a misunderstood city with a complex history. What was once a city with a population of 80,000 people of multiple races and ethnicities is now home to 25,000 people which primarily consists of African Americans. At worst, East St. Louis is reviled. With a local and national reputation for high levels of crime, poverty, and fatherlessness, many people quickly dismiss the city and its residents, and consider that nothing positive can come from the community.

But Kempton knows a different quality of East St. Louis: potential. Kempton grew up in East St. Louis and enjoyed attending Dunbar Elementary and Clark Jr. High School. As he returns to his roots, his heart beats for God’s favor and blessing to be lavished upon his hometown.

However, there is still much brokenness in East St. Louis, and we believe God desires to transform it for his glory through the gospel of Jesus Christ (Isaiah 61:1-4). It’s our privilege to participate with him in the work he is doing in East St. Louis, the surrounding areas, even to the ends of the earth!


"Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy....." (2 Cor. 1:24)

Kempton Turner – Pastor

Kempton Turner was born dead in his trespasses and sins. He lived a sinful life in the passions of his flesh as a child of God’s wrath. But God, on March 16, 1995 made him alive through the powerful gospel of Jesus Christ and won his allegiance and affection forever!

Kempton was raised in East St. Louis, Illinois, but has spent most of his life in Houston, Texas. Most recently, he served on the pastoral staff at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for 7 years before becoming the Church Planting Pastoral Resident under the oversight of the elders. Kempton’s prayer and hope is that the Lord would establish a joyful, loving, Christ-magnifying local church in his hometown.

Kempton and his childhood sweetheart Caryn have been happily married since 1999 and the Lord has blessed them with four children: Christian, Carysse, Kalia, and Caleb.

Mark Goins – Worship Leader

As the son of a pastor, Mark grew up in and around church life and ministry.  Although Mark sensed God’s call to follow Jesus at an early age, that didn’t prevent him from living a life contrary to his upbringing.  Mark’s high school and early college years were marked by sinful behavior, but that would soon change.

During his freshman year in college, God used a minister’s powerful words to bring Mark to a place of genuine repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  After graduating college, Mark met his wonderful wife Marqueta.  They both share a love for music and ministry and have been singing together for eight years.  They have three children: Macey (4), Mark Jr. (3), and Mabry (1).   Mark endeavors to lead people to Jesus by sharing the gospel, loving his family, serving the church and living a life of integrity.  


Below is our vision video, as well as a sermon from Kempton, to give you a better idea of why we are planting a church in East Saint Louis and how you can partner with us.

“Why Go to East Saint Louis?”

Kempton Turner






To partner with City of Joy Fellowship with a tax-deductible gift, there are two options available.

You can give to City of Joy Fellowship by either mailing a check or through our secure online giving system. You can make a one-time online donation or set-up recurring donations each week or each month. Click the option below to give online.