About Us

On June 1, 1986 Pastor Paul Hoover and his wife Cindy founded the Souls Harbor Baptist Church.  The first service was held at the Chapel of the Flowers in Brookfield, WI with 41 in attendance.  That summer and fall included picnics, revival meetings, and youth activities.  In January of 1987 a building was purchased in the inner-city of Milwaukee at the corner of 13th and Juneau.

The church took as one of its mottos’s “the old church downtown”, and grew steadily as people in the neighborhood were reached through old-fashioned soul winning and a heart of compassion.  The congregation was also interested in the well-being of the community at large.  To that end the 13th and Juneau Association and block watch club were created to aid in improving the neighborhood.  The neighborhood improved dramatically over the years, and the church continued to preach the old-fashioned Gospel to the expressway society.

In 1992 an acre of vacant land was purchased a half block from the old building on North 12th Street.  This was the proposed site for a brand new church building.  In preparation for this new project, the old church building on Juneau was sold and the congregation bought a store front building on 37th and Lisbon to use as an interim meeting place.

Although the location was temporary… the Lord blessed and the church grew at 3722 W. Lisbon.  The bus ministry grew, families were helped, and the Spanish ministry was started with the help of the Seda family.

In 1993 the first unit of the new building was dedicated.  Years of building and working with thousands of souls in the inner-city followed 8 years later in 2001 construction began on expanding the building.  Two wings were added tripling the size of the building.  These new additions offered the church a bigger auditorium, fellowship hall, kitchen, larger nurseries, and twelve large classrooms.

With the ever-changing needs of a church, the Lord opened up an opportunity on the south side of the city in 2007.  The disbanding Bay View Baptist Church sold their building to Souls Harbor giving the ministry even more room to grow.


Loving God |We respond to His love (Mark 12:30),

Growing Together | God works in us (Acts 2:42),

Serving Others | God works through us as we serve others (1 Peter 4:10),

Reaching the World | God has commanded us to go and make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20).

The vision of Souls Harbor Baptist Church is to fulfill the Great Commission starting with Milwaukee.  We are systematically reaching our city through door to door evangelism.

Souls Harbor also partners with many other churches in church planting through Reaching America Baptist Partners.

We also support missionaries who are faithfully preaching the Good News to the uttermost parts of the earth.

First service - June 1, 1986
1234 W. Juneau Ave. - Meeting Place 1986-1990
3722 W. Lisbon Ave. - Meeting Place 1991-1993
1235 N. 12th St. - Meeting Place 1993-2007
Current church building - 3800 S. Howell Avenue


Paul J. Hoover

Senior Pastor

Pastor Paul J. Hoover grew up at Souls Harbor.  He has served as youth pastor here during his college years, and at Heritage Baptist Church in Corpus Christi, Texas for the last two years.  Paul and his wife moved back to Milwaukee in May 2014.  He was installed as the senior pastor on September 25, 2016.

Juan Seda

Spanish Pastor

Pastor Seda, his late wife Aida and their son and daughter have been an integral part of the Spanish outreach at Souls Harbor.  He followed the Lord’s call to Milwaukee after serving in the U.S. Military.  Mrs. Seda was a blessing to the families of our church through her faithful service as our nursery director.  She went to be with the Lord in 2013.  Pastor Seda faithfully serves in many capacities at Souls Harbor.

Paul D. Hoover

Staff Evangelist

Evangelist Paul D. Hoover is our founding pastor. He planted the church on June 1, 1986 in the Milwaukee suburb of Brookfield. After 6 months God placed on his heart the need for a church in the inner-city of Milwaukee. The church purchased a building at 13th & Juneau. For over 20 years, God blessed this inner-city work. Hundreds were saved and baptized, and a beautiful facility was built. The church remained there until 2007 when we purchased our current property at 3800 S. Howell Avenue in the Bay View community.  Evangelist Hoover is available to preach in your church. You can setup a meeting by contacting the church office (414) 342-1234.


Bible Only Rule of Faith & Practice

God’s Word is our final authority in all matters of faith and practice.  As the inspired, inerrant, and preserved Word of God, it bears the absolute authority of God Himself.  No human opinion or church decree can usurp the teachings of Scripture.  Whatever the Bible dictates, we accept as true.  We use only the King James Version of the Bible.  (2 Peter 1:20-21, 2 Timothy 3:15-17, 1 Thessalonians 2:13, Psalm 12:6-7, 119:128)

Autonomy of the Local Church

The local church is an independent body accountable to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Head of the church.  The church is autonomous, or self-governing. No religious “hierarchy” outside the local church may dictate a church’s beliefs or practices.  (Colossians 1:18, Ephesians 3:21, 1 Corinthians 11:3, 12:12)

Priesthood of the Believer

Every believer is a priest of God and may enter into His presence in prayer directly through our Great High Priest, Jesus Christ.  No other mediator is needed between God and His people.  (1 Peter 2:9, Hebrews 4:14-16, 1 Timothy 2:5)

Two Ordinances (Immersion and the Lord’s Supper)

The local church must keep the ordinances as delivered to the apostles in the New Testament: (1) Baptism by immersion for believers who have evidenced “fruit meet for repentance” picturing the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ and giving entrance for the believer into the local church body. (2) The Lord’s Supper which commemorates Christ’s sacrificial death for our sins.  Participants of the Lord’s Supper are born again, baptized believer’s of the local church body.  (Mark 16:15-16, Luke 3:7- 8, Acts 8:12, 1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 1 Corinthians 11:2, 23-32)

Individual Soul Liberty

Every person, whether saved or unsaved, has the liberty to choose what he believes about God.  This liberty, however, does not exempt one from responsibility to the Word of God or from accountability to God Himself.  (Romans 14:5,12; 2 Corinthians 4:2, Titus 1:9)

Saved, Baptized Church Membership

Every member of Souls Harbor Baptist church must be a born-again believer who has been subsequently baptized by immersion upon evidence of salvation and that by public profession within the local body.

Two Offices in the Church (Pastors and Deacons)

Baptists have maintained only two offices in the local church as set forth in the New Testament: Pastor and deacon.  The terms “pastor”, “elder”, and “bishop” or “overseer” all refer to the same office.  (1 Timothy 3:1,10; 1 Peter 5:1,5;)

Separation (Church and State, Personal, Ecclesiastical)

God has established both the church and the civil government, giving each its own distinct jurisdiction.  No church or government should control each other, nor should there be any alliance between them.  Believer’s can and should promote righteousness in all areas of living, government included.  (Romans 13:1- 7, Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 5:29, Proverbs 14:35, 29:2)