| Mount Pleasant Baptist Church Houston's Fifth Ward developed primarily after the Civil War, when freedmen came to the area. In 1866, an alderman represented the ward, comprised of Anglo and African Americans, in the city's government. The earliest institutions were churches, including Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, which grew out of Mount Zion Baptist Church. The Mount Zion church moved across Buffalo Bayou after its sanctuary burned. Some church members had to cross the bayou on skiffs for worship, and a group decided to form a new church, Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, closer to home. In a one-room store in 1876, the Rev. George W. Booker led his wife, Lizzie, Abe and Patsy Gray, Nathan and Susan Ann Johnson, and Sarah Scott in services. These seven men and women purchased a lot on Liberty Street, now known as Rothwell, and built a brush arbor there. Many joined Mount Pleasant Baptist Church after a revival, and within a short time, after raising funds at festivals and suppers, the church built a wooden sanctuary. The first sanctuaries were destroyed by storms and a fire. After each disaster, church men and women salvaged building materials for their next sanctuary. The Rev. George Booker resigned in 1908 and was followed by the Rev. Joe J. James. During his pastorate, the Women's Missionary Society organized and became a part of church leadership. In the 1940s, the City of Houston bought the church's land for highway construction. The church purchased land at Solo and Hershe Streets from the Clay and Clay funeral directors and began to build a new sanctuary. The members held their first services in the new house of worship in 1951. With only five pastors during its first 125 years, Mount Pleasant Baptist Church maintains the traditions of its founding members, with generations of area families still serving and ministering to the Fifth Ward community. |
This page last updated: 8/30/2009
Mount Pleasant Baptist Church Historical Marker Location Map, Houston, Texas
Related Themes: Texas Baptist Churches, Texas C.S.A., Texas Confederate States of America, Confederacy
Texas Confederate Historical Markers.