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Vanita E. Crawford Antioch Baptist Church Collection

Identifier: MSS 0134

Scope and Contents

This collection, donated by Mrs. Crawford, provides researchers with a good cross-section of historical materials, including correspondence, photographs, press clippings and organizational records which will be of special value to those with an interest in black history, as well as women's history and the history of religion in Houston.


  • 1940-1969

Use Restrictions


Biographical Note

Mrs. Vanita Crawford, born in Washington, Texas, in 1900, moved to Houston in 1911 and became a member of the city's oldest surviving black church, Antioch Baptist, two years later. In the decades that followed, she was a leader in many church activities, most importantly as the President of the Mission Society from the 1940s until the 1960s. She was also active in the Band organizations of the church, whose membership was initially limited to women, but later opened to men, as well. Band members visited those who were infirm or ill, ran sewing classes, provided food and clothing to those in need, and in general tried to be helpmates to people who required assistance. At the same time as Mrs. Crawford gave unstintingly of her time to the church, she earned her livelihood as a caterer, while her husband, R.H. Crawford, worked for over 50 years as an employee of the Missouri Pacific Railroad.


1 Linear Feet (2 Document boxes)

Language of Materials



The collection is arranged in five series by material type. The documents, Series 1 - 4, are arranged alphabetically by subject, and then chronologically within the subject. The Antioch Baptist Church Funeral Notices in Series 3 are arranged alphabetically by last name.

Series 1: Antioch Baptist Church Bands

Series 2: Antioch Baptist Church Committees, Societies, and Clubs

Series 3: Antioch Baptist Church Materials

Series 4: Crawford Family Papers

Series 5: Photographs

Custodial History

These records were formerly housed at the Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library as MSS 0192: The Vanita E. Crawford Antioch Baptist Church Collection and were transferred to the African American Library at the Gregory School, Houston Public Library in 2019.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Vanita E. Crawford

Related Material

MSS 0155 Olee Yates McCullough Papers 1920s-1980s

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

RG 0032 Antioch Baptist Church Collection

Processing Information

Processed by Howard Beeth, July 21, 1982

MSS 0134 The Vanita E. Crawford Antioch Baptist Church Collection
An inventory of records at the African American Library at the Gregory School, Houston Public Library
Processed by Howard Beeth
July 21, 1982
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English
This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services Museum Grants for African American History and Culture (AAHC-FY21).

Revision Statements

  • finding aid revision date not supplied: March 30, 2004, Proofread and revised by Andrew Hempe August 2003; Edited with XMetal 3 by Susan Lindberg, according to instructions in TARO 2 EAD 2002 Editing Instructions

Repository Details

Part of the African American History Research Center Repository


African American History Research Center
Houston Public Library
1300 Victor Street
Houston, Texas 77019
Houston History Research Center
Houston Public Library
550 McKinney St.
Houston, Texas 77002