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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Houston in Harris County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Bethel Baptist Church

 
 
Bethel Baptist Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By James Hulse, April 16, 2021
1. Bethel Baptist Church Marker
Inscription.  

In 1890-91, Rev. Jack Yates and a group of worshippers left Antioch Baptist Church over a disagreement about renovation funding. They named their new congregation Bethel Baptist Church, referring to "Beth-el" meaning a "Center" near an individual's heart called the "House of God". In October 1891, the congregation purchased a lot on Andrews at Crosby upon which a simple building was soon erected. The church was blown down in the 1900 storm and rebuilt with salvageable material from the wreckage.

The two longest-serving pastors, Rev. James R. Burdett (1917-1946) and Rev. W.H. Dudley (1948-1970), oversaw the construction of a Gothic Revival influenced structure. The first phase, a one-story building, was designed by John L. Blount in 1923. The church was expanded to three stories by architect James M. Thomas in 1949-50. The interior was destroyed by a fire on January 24, 2005, but the exterior remained. Bethel's design, with its at-grade entrance and oversized arched entry with a modern minimal façade embellishment, is unusual and represents its progressive and affluent congregation.

Bethel was sometimes referred to
Bethel Baptist Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By James Hulse, April 16, 2021
2. Bethel Baptist Church Marker
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as the "Silk Stocking" church because of its well-to-do members including Dr. B.J. Covington, co-founder of the Houston Negro Hospital; J.H. Harmon, dry goods merchant; Eldridge "Bud" Jackson, funeral home owner; Anderson Lacey, internationally known violinist; Clifton F. Richardson, Sr., editor and founder of the Houston Informer and Houston Defender; and Rutherford B.H. Yates, Sr., printer and educator. Bethel was one of the earliest congregations in Freedmen's Town. Although the Bethel congregation now worships in another community, it has maintained a close relationship with the residents of Fourth Ward since its founding.

175 Years of Texas Independence * 1836-2011
 
Erected 2011 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 17014.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansChurches & Religion. A significant historical date for this entry is January 24, 2005.
 
Location. 29° 45.345′ N, 95° 22.567′ W. Marker is in Houston, Texas, in Harris County. Marker is at the intersection of Andrews Street and Crosby Street, on the left when traveling west on Andrews Street. The marker is located on the corner in front of the church grounds. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 801 Andrews Street, Houston TX 77019, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker
The view of the Bethel Baptist Church from the street image. Click for full size.
By James Hulse, April 16, 2021
3. The view of the Bethel Baptist Church from the street
. West End Park (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Origins of Freedman's Town (approx. 0.2 miles away); Harvey Homan (approx. 0.2 miles away); Eli Noland (approx. 0.2 miles away); Jacob Maybee (approx. 0.2 miles away); William S. Stilwell (approx. 0.2 miles away); Fielding G. Secrest (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Houston.
 
Front entrance to the Bethel Baptist Church image. Click for full size.
By James Hulse, April 16, 2021
4. Front entrance to the Bethel Baptist Church
Inside view of the Bethel Baptist Church image. Click for full size.
By James Hulse, April 16, 2021
5. Inside view of the Bethel Baptist Church
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 17, 2021. It was originally submitted on April 17, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 41 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on April 17, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.

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May. 14, 2021