Houston in Harris County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
Fourth Missionary Baptist Church
Organized as Watts Chapel in 1877, Fourth Missionary Baptist Church was established by the Rev. Henry Watts, a native of South Carolina. Watts arrived in Houston that same year, and with the help of fellow Houston ministers and deacons, secured a place of worship on Commerce Street. In 1883, he and church trustees purchased land and moved the church to West Broadway, and the congregation changed its name to Fourth Missionary Baptist Church in 1884. The church moved again to a location at the corner of Dowling and Lamar, rebuilding after a storm destroyed their building in 1900, and again after a fire in 1910.
Under the leadership of the Rev. Alex H. Branch, the church moved in 1927. When the Rev. Branch passed away in 1932, members elected his son, Elridge Stanley Branch, as pastor. During the Rev. Dr. E.S. Branch's pastorate, Fourth Missionary Baptist Church moved here (1946) and attained its status as a leading Christian institution. Members have helped Houston residents in a variety of ways, including a kindergarden (1941), well baby clinic, food clinics, programs to help the needy during Christmas and a low-income housing
The church has hosted the Missionary Baptist General Convention of Texas several times and in 1968 became the first black church to join the Union Baptist Association, an important step in the integration of churches in the state. Today, Fourth Missionary Baptist Church continues as a vital spiritual and social leader in Houston.
Erected 2007 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 14002.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Churches & Religion. A significant historical year for this entry is 1877.
Location. 29° 44.345′ N, 95° 21.444′ W. Marker is in Houston, Texas, in Harris County. Marker is at the intersection of Webster Street and Nagle Street, on the right when traveling east on Webster Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2701 Webster Street, 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. Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Dr. Benjamin Jesse Covington and the Covington House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Blue Triangle Branch, Y.W.C.A. Building (approx. ¼ mile away); Grand Court Order of Calanthe of Texas (approx. ¼ mile away); Trinity East United Methodist Church (approx. ¼ mile away); Greater Zion Missionary Baptist Church (approx. 0.3 miles away); St. John Missionary Baptist Church (approx. 0.3 miles away); Jordan Grove Missionary Baptist Church (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Houston.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 18, 2021. It was originally submitted on April 18, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 34 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on April 18, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.