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RG 0021 Mount Pleasant Baptist Church

 Collection
Identifier: RG 0021

Scope and Contents

The Mount Pleasant Baptist Church Collection documents the activities of the church from 1933 to 2011. the majority of materials are from 1962 to 1968 under the pastorship of Rev. A. Doyal McCraw. This collection contains the church history, constitution and by-laws, correspondence related to the "Guess Work of Church Support" requesting donations for building renovations and the annual women's day events, and anniversary programs pastor anniversary programs and Sunday services programs. Also includes meeting minutes and a 125th anniversary scrapbook commemorating church activities and history. This collection evidences the activities of black churches. Researchers interested in black church history and community involvement will find this collection valuable.

Dates

  • 1933 - 2011
  • Majority of material found within 1962 - 1998

Language of Materials

This collection is in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church Collection must be obtained from the African American Library at the Gregory School or the appropriatee copy right holder.

Biographical / Historical

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.

Mount Pleasant Baptist Church can trace its origins to its parent institution Mount Zion Baptist Church on Canal Street. When Mt. Zion was a destroyed by fire, many in the congregation moved across the bayou. They lease land where the old street car ban stood I the Second War. During this time a second group from Antioch Baptist church visited and invited Mt. Zion to come over and help them. They worshiped on Baptist Hill in Fourth Ward and were planning to lay their cornerstone in a brick structure at a more desirable site. This visit gave the ideas to Mount Zion church members to build a church on that side of the bayou. 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 was founded in a one-room store, on the corner of McCall and Nance Street in 1876. The Rev. George W. Booker led his wife Lizzie, Ave 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 to rebuild their next sanctuary.

The Rev. George Booker resigned in 1908 and was followed by the Rev. Joe. J. James during his pastorate, the women missionary society organized and became as part of the 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 generation of areas family still serving and ministering to the Fifth Ward community.

Reverend G.W. Booker served as the first pastor of Mount Peasant Baptist Church. Through his influence and power of preaching, many new members were added to the church. During his pastorate, the church building had twice been destroyed by storms. After more than thirty-two years of service, Reverend Booker’s health began to fail and he resigned. For a while he has given a small sum of money as retirement.

Reverend J.J James was called as Pastor in 1909. The Church took on a new life and continued to bloom. Church membership heavily increased and the building was enlarged during the period of remodeling following a heavy storm. The church began to work hard financially and members were sent to national meetings. Reverend James remained pastor for twenty-two years until 1931. He voluntarily resigned over a disagreement between he and the church membership disagreed on the association to which the church belonged.

Reverend Howard Oliver Scott was called and officially elected by the membership on January, 28, 1932, to become the third pastor. The church took on new growth and the membership began to work as it had in former years. The members attempted to build a church on site but the City of Houston wanted the land for a highway (interstate 10 East Freeway). The church purchased a new site, one block containing six lots at the corner of Hershe and Solo Streets.

On August 1949, the church completed the frame Educational building. Services were held there until current building on October 7, 1951. The church mortgage was burned in August 1956. Later, Other additions were made. Reverend Scott resigned after twenty-seven years of service to become the pastor at the First Baptist Church in Far Rockaway, New York.

Reverend Acy Doyal McCraw became pastor on August, 24, 1959. Under his leadership, he stressed leadership training, Bible study, tithes for giving dedicated service, evangelism and revivals. Reverend McCraw served as Vice President and President of the Texas State Missionary Convention for over 25 years. During his 41-year tenure, improvements were made to the building and missionary goals. He served until his passing on June 23, 2000.

Reverend Roy Lee Jackson became the fifth pastor on September 24, 2000. His official installation occurred on October 29, 2000. Under his leadership the church received an historical marker. He has ordained one son, Reverend Vernon Hickson II, and eight deacons. He instituted Wednesday morning bible study and Teacher Preparation, and hosted the Old Land Mark Association.

Extent

2 Linear Feet (3)

Arrangement

This collection is arranged into four series by function and subject. Where appropriate, materials in arranged in chronological order by date.

Series I: History and Charter

Series II: Commemorative and Historic Programs

Series III: Community Involvement and Outreach

Series IV: Oversized Materials

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Mary Guillory and Cleo Meyers Stewart on July 19, 2011.

Related Materials

MSS 0139 Rev. L. H. Simpson Collection 1921-1976

Processing Information

Processed by Vince Lee November 2011; updated by Sheena Wilson in June 2018.
Title
RG 0021 Mount Pleasant Baptist Church Collection
Subtitle
An Inventory of Records at the African American Library at the Gregory School, Houston Public Library
Status
Completed
Author
Vince Lee
Date
November 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Repository Details

Part of the Gregory School Repository

Contact:

The African American Library at the Gregory School
1300 Victor Street
Houston, Texas 77019
832-393-1440
HPL.Gregoryschool@houstontx.gov
M Closed | T 10-6 | W 10-6 | Th 12-8 | F 10-5 | Sa 10-5 | Su Closed
Houston Metropolitan Research Center
Houston Public Library
550 McKinney St.
Houston, Texas 77002
M Closed T 10-6 W 10-6 Th 12-8 F 10-5 Sa 10-5 Su Closed
TXR.Reference@houstontx.gov
832-393-1662