St. John Missionary Baptist Church (Emancipation Avenue) -- Houston TX
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz
N 29° 44.248 W 095° 21.761
15R E 271494 N 3292032
Quick Description: Dr. Martin Luther King spoke at the Erma Hughes Business College graduation commencement ceremony, hosted by historic St. John Missionary Baptist Church in Houston
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 4/13/2018 11:49:44 AM
Waymark Code: WMY3J9
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member wayfrog
Views: 2

Long Description:
One of two churches with the exact same name in Houston, the single St. John MBC congregation split in 1917, and each subsequently built its own sanctuary. This church is located at 2702 Emancipation Avenue (formerly known as Dowling Street in honor of Confederate Naval officer Dick Dowling).

Dr. Martin Luther King spoke here in 1858, as the commencement speaker for the Erma Hughes Business College graduation ceremony, hosted by St. John Missionary Baptist Church.

The imposing church building has been designated as a Houston Landmark, and features a state historic marker that reads as follows:


In August 1899, The Rev. Hilliard R. Johnson led a small group of African-Americans to establish St. John Missionary Baptist Church in Houston’s Third Ward. During his years as pastor, 1899-1901, and 1904-1924, he pioneered the practice of two morning church services, spring revivals, and baptisms held in Bray’s Bayou. In 1920 the growing congregation built a brick building on Dowling Street near McGowan Avenue.

The Rev. Sanderson A. Pleasants, Jr. served the church from 1925 until 1953 and began many organizations and outreach programs, including a Home Mission department, a Silent Department deaf ministry, a prison ministry, a church band and orchestra, and a Radio Group. With over 5,000 members in 1948, the congregation needed a larger sanctuary. The new building, completed in 1950, features a classical revival architectural design with colossal columns, symbolic of the spiritual strength and influence of the church in the community. By 1953 the church was said to be one of the largest African-American churches in the country.

The Rev. Marshall M. Malone led the church from 1953 until 1983. A weekly radio Bible class was broadcast from the church in the 1950s. The M. M. Malone Chapel and Educational Building were built in 1963 adjacent to the 1950 sanctuary. The church played an important role during the turbulent political and social climate of the Civil Rights Era. In 1958 the church hosted the 25th commencement ceremony of the Erma Hughes Business College with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as the principal speaker. In 1965 the church hosted the 85th National Baptist Convention of America, which was the first religious event to be held at Houston’s new Astrodome. (2009)

Marker is property of the state of Texas"
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Benchmark Blasterz visited St. John Missionary Baptist Church (Emancipation Avenue) -- Houston TX 4/7/2018 Benchmark Blasterz visited it