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New Waverly in Walker County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Western Grove Baptist Church

 
 
Western Grove Baptist Church Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, August 21, 2021
1. Western Grove Baptist Church Marker
Inscription.  Following Emancipation, many African Americans sought a place to gather and worship, and they formed churches. The Western Grove Baptist Church was founded in 1885 and is the oldest African American Church in New Waverly. The church began as Eastern Grove Baptist Church before it moved to the west side of town. Reverend James Alford, Reverend Joe James, Sr., and deacons Dick Hill, Will Hargrove, Jack Burl and Edd Bailey were instrumental in the church organization. One acre of land was given to the church on the east side of town near the International Great Northern Railroad.

In 1914, Reverend B.F. Briggs became pastor followed by Reverend Abe Parker and then Reverend Briggs. In 1930, Reverend Loveless Lewis became pastor and he, along with Mrs. Annie Herndon, organized the choir. Tragedy struck in 1936 when the church was blown down by strong winds. The building remained unused for a year and then was moved to the west side of town with the intention of rebuilding it. The church purchased land from Mr. and Mrs. Frank Kmiecik and the name of the church was changed to Western Grove Baptist Church.

The new building was
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completed in 1937 under the leadership of Reverend J. Jones. In the 1950s and early 1960s, additions were made to the church including the choir stand, pastor's study, choir room and bell tower. The church was moved to its present location in 1958 when Interstate 45 was constructed through this area of the county. This historic church congregation continues to be a spiritual beacon for the community.
 
Erected 2013 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 17705.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansChurches & ReligionRailroads & Streetcars. A significant historical year for this entry is 1885.
 
Location. 30° 32.217′ N, 95° 29.381′ W. Marker is in New Waverly, Texas, in Walker County. Marker is on Longstreet Road, 0.1 miles east of Farm to Market Road 1375, on the left when traveling east. The marker is located on the west side of the church. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: New Waverly TX 77358, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. St. Joseph's Catholic Church (approx. half a mile away); Minnie Fisher Cunningham (approx. 2.8 miles away); Site of former town of Danville (approx. 4.1 miles away); Elijah Collard (approx. 4.6 miles away); East Sandy Community
The Western Grove Baptist Church and Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, August 21, 2021
2. The Western Grove Baptist Church and Marker
(approx. 5˝ miles away); Willis Male and Female College (approx. 7.6 miles away); Site of Willis Cigar Factory (approx. 7.7 miles away); Willis Methodist Church (approx. 7.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New Waverly.
 
The view of the Western Grove Baptist Church and Marker from the road image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, August 21, 2021
3. The view of the Western Grove Baptist Church and Marker from the road
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 24, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 23, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 167 times since then and 49 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 24, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.

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Jul. 12, 2024