Houston in Harris County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
Reverend John Henry "Jack" Yates
(1828 - 1897)
One of Houston's most respected and influential religious, civic and business leaders, Jack Yates was born enslaved in Virginia. He was enslaved when he came to Matagorda County, Texas in 1860. After emancipation he moved his family to Houston. He was an astute businessman, developing the Freedmen's Town area with homes, businesses, schools and churches. He was a drayman, carpenter, educator, property and business owner. In 1868, he was ordained as a Baptist minister and became the first pastor of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church. Reverend Yates, the Antioch congregation and the Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church united for many community activities. Together, they established the Colored People of Harris County Festival Association to purchase these 10 acres which became Emancipation Park, the first park in Houston and one of the oldest in Texas. After providing basic education for newly emancipated slaves and their children at Antioch, he also organized the Baptist Academy with the assistance of Northern Baptist missionaries. In 1890, he organized Bethel Baptist Church. Reverend Yates continued to organize churches and schools throughout
Erected 2020 by Four Corners Public Art Project.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Arts, Letters, Music • Parks & Recreational Areas. A significant historical year for this entry is 1860.
Location. 29° 44.082′ N, 95° 21.905′ W. Marker is in Houston, Texas, in Harris County. Marker is at the intersection of Elgin Street and Emancipation Avenue, on the right when traveling west on Elgin Street. The marker is located in the southern corner of the Emancipation Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Houston TX 77004, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Legacy of Emancipation Park (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Richard Brock (about 500 feet away); Sixth Church of Christ, Scientist (about 600 feet away); Sam (Lightnin’) Hopkins (about 600 feet away); Reverend David Elias Dibble (about 700 feet away); Richard Allen (approx. 0.2 miles away); Jordan Grove Missionary Baptist Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Houston.
Also see . . . ELEMENTS OF CHANGE - Four Corners Public Art Project
In 1872 Richard Allen, Richard Brock, Jack Yates, and Elias Dibble together bought 4 acres (1.6 ha) of parkland with $800 ($16731.11 in 2013 inflation-adjusted dollars). The men, led by Yates, were members of the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church and the Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church. They did this to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States. Emancipation Park and Emancipation Community Center are located at 3018 Emancipation Ave in the Third Ward area of Houston. It is the oldest park in Houston, and the oldest in Texas.(Submitted on April 18, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.)
Credits. This page was last revised on April 21, 2021. It was originally submitted on April 17, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 42 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on April 17, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. 4. submitted on April 21, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.