Antioch Missionary Baptist Church (Houston, Texas)
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Raven
N 29° 45.376 W 095° 22.326
15R E 270625 N 3294135
Quick Description: One of Houston's most historic churches, Antioch Missionary Baptist Church lies nestled between giant skyscrapers on the western edge of downtown, surrounded by steel and concrete. Built between 1875 and 1879, it is Houston's first black church.
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 4/18/2013 2:55:37 PM
Waymark Code: WMGX11
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member razalas
Views: 5

Long Description:
One of Houston's most historic churches, Antioch Missionary Baptist Church lies nestled between giant skyscrapers on the western edge of downtown, surrounded by steel and concrete. It is Houston's first black church; its congregation was founded in January 1866 by 9 former slaves, with assistance from 2 Baptist white ministers.

The Gothic Revival red masonry building features stained glass windows containing portraits of prominent church figures, steep cross gables, and pointed arch windows and doors. Once the center of a cohesive African American community, Antioch Church has over the years served as the mother church for many area African American Baptist congregations. The church was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 and recorded as a Texas Historic Landmark in 1994.

Construction on the church began in 1875, with its original cornerstone laid on May 15th of that year. The initial one-story structure was completed in 1879 and went through several renovations and expansions afterwards, the first major expansion being in 1890. In 1936, the church went through a second extensive renovation project which -- among many other significant additions -- included a distinctive neon "Jesus Saves" sign at the top of its new tower. Through it all, the building's original marble cornerstone still remains, cemented neatly in place below the new 1936 sandstone marker that followed it.


Below is brief history of the church, per its website: (visit link)

"In January of 1866, seven months after slaves were freed in Texas (June 19, 1865), a small group of freed slaves organized the first African American Baptist Church in Houston, Texas. They were assisted by the First Baptist Church and missionaries.

After holding worship services at the First Baptist Church and the German Baptist Church, they began to hold services on Buffalo Bayou in a "Brush Arbor." Later, they moved to "Baptist Hill" located at Rusk and Bagby until the present site was purchased. Services were conducted by ministers who traveled to different locations, at stated times.

In 1868, one of Antioch's members, Jack Yates, was ordained at the first Association meeting for African American Baptist Churches. This was the first National Baptist Convention. Rev. Jack Yates became the first pastor of Antioch.

As the membership grew and additional space was needed, Rev. Yates led the church to purchase its present site and build a brick structure. The church, located in the center of Freedman's Town, was the center of activity for the African-American community. It was the first brick structure built and owned by African-Americans in Houston.

The Red Brick Church was designed by African-American Richard Allen, who was also a member of the Texas Legislature. The Red Brick Church was erected in 1875 and was the first brick structure owned by African-Americans in Houston, Texas. The second story was added in 1890.

The structure's Gothic feature, with pointed arch windows and doors, have been nationally acclaimed. Today members still worship in the sanctuary's original handmade pews."
Wikipedia Url: [Web Link]

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