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Antioch Baptist Church Collection

Identifier: RG 0032

Scope and Contents

The Antioch Baptist Church collection documents the activities of The Antioch Baptist Church from 1925 - 1968.. This collection contains newsletters and programs that detail church related activities and services. Significant gaps exist for newsletter with most of the newsletters from 1946-1949. Select folders may contain separation sheets indicating that items were removed from the collection due to their condition and rehoused. Church programs cover the Annual Women’s a Day and Men’s Day events and the order of service. Two photographs depict congregation members during the early twentieth century and the early church leaders.


  • 1925 - 2006
  • Majority of material found within 1934 - 1950


Language of Materials

This collection is in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research. As a preservation measure, researchers must view the photocopy of the separated items in this collection rather than originals. Originals are not available due to item condition.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from the Antioch Baptist Church must be obtained from the African American Library at the Gregory School or the appropriate copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

Established by freed slaves in January 1866, Antioch Missionary Baptist Church is the first African American Baptist church in Houston. The organizers were John Wheeler, Henry Styles, Edward Smith, Preston Greenhill, Daniel Riley, T. L. Brown, Sandy Parker, Wash Rhodes, Isaac Williams, Rhyna Moore, Margaret Jones and Cynthia Hill. Aided by missionaries from the First Baptist Church and the German Baptist Church services were initially held on Buffalo Bayou in a "Brush Arbor," but later were moved to "Baptist Hill" located at Rusk and Bagby. Reverend Campbell and Reverend I. Rhinehart re-organized the church in August, 1866, and gave it the name Antioch Missionary Baptist Church. The church experienced a membership growth and a new site was purchased and a brick building was erected at the present site. During the reorganization, Reverend Campbell was called as pastor of the church. In 1868, church member John Henry (Jack) Yates was ordained at the first National Baptist Convention and became the first full-time pastor. Located in Houston’s Fourth Ward, the church was the first was the first brick structure in Houston to be built and owned by African-Americans. An epicenter of African American community, Antioch provided religious opportunities that supported social, education, and economic development during the 19th and 20th centuries.

The Red Brick Church was designed by African-American Richard Allen, a member of the Texas Legislature, and was erected in 1875. This structure and was the first brick structure owned by African-Americans in Houston, Texas. The second story was added in 1890. The structure’s Gothic features, with pointed arch windows and doors, have been nationally acclaimed.

From Antioch Missionary Baptist Church. “A Brief History.”


0.25 Linear Feet (1)


The collection is arranged into three series by material type. Series are arranged chroniologically by date.

Series I: Newsletters

Series II: Programs

Sereis III: Photographs

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by: Antioch Baptist Church on August 30, 2015.

Related Materials

MSS 0090 Martha C. Whiting Collection

OH.GS.0002 Martha Whiting (Part 1) is available at

OH.GS.0009 Martha Whiting (Part 2)

Additional records are held by the Houston Metropolitan Research Center in the following collections:

MSS 0281 Rev. Jack Yates Family and Antioch Baptist Church Collection 1872-1986

MSS 306 Olee Yates McCullough

RG I 007 Antioch Missionary Baptist Church

Processing Information

Processed by: Sheena Wilson
RG 0032 Antioch Baptist Church
An Inventory of Records at the African American Library at the Gregory School, Houston Public Library
Sheena Wilson
November 9, 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Gregory School Repository


(832) 393-1662

The African American Library at the Gregory School
1300 Victor Street
Houston, Texas 77019
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