Churches in the St. Catherine Street Neighborhood
The original appearance of Mt. Sinai Baptist Church is visible in a ca. 1930 historic photograph. The church featured corner towers crowned with domes.
Mt. Sinai organized in 1913 and built the church soon afterwards. Like most historic African American wood churches, Mt. Sinai was later brick-veneered.
Standing in front of Mt. Sinai in Brumfield High School band director Woodrick McGuire who died in the 1940 Rhythm Night Club fire. McGuire lived across the street in the Wheaton-McGuire House.
Zion A.M.E. Church No. 2 at 7 Quitman Street was originally a mission church built by Zion Chapel A.M.E. (African Methodist Episcopal) Church, which also operated Ward's Academy on the same site.
The church with its twin towers and recessed entry porch is typical of many of the historic wood African American churches like China Grove Baptist Church on St. Catherine featured a single tower.
Zion Chapel A.M.E. Church No. 2 is today the most architecturally significant of the historic African American wood churches because it is the only one that retains its original architectural character and detail. Most of the others have been veneered in brick.
Today "Little Zion" as it is sometimes called, is home to Christ Community Church, one of a growing number of non-denominational churches in the community.
The Civil Rights Movement was closely linked to black churches. Since African Americans were denied access to most places of public accommodation prior to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, churches were the focus not only of their religious lives but also of their social and political lives.
NAACP meetings moved randomly from church to church to confuse the Ku Klux Klan. Many of the churches in the St. Catherine Street neighborhood hosted meetings of the NAACP in the 1960s, and Shiloh Baptist Church was the site of mass meetings.
The Reverend Jacob Henry Murray, pictured above right with his wife Donettia, oversaw construction of the first building of the Church of God in Christ on Perrault Street about 1921. He led the church until his death in 1969.
A pillar of the church was esteemed Natchez educator Freddie Johnson, pictured above with his young son Freddie, Jr., in front of the original church building. Johnson marrieed Reverend Murray's daughter Leola.
A World War II veteran, Freddie Johnson served the students of Adams County as a teacher and principal at Brumfield, Sadie V. Thompson, Northside and at Anchorage (later North Natchez) schools.
James Murray, son of Jacob Henry Murray, was pastor when the congregation built the new church on Perrault Street.
China Grove Baptist Church
105 St. Catherine Street
Church of God in Christ
10 Perrault Street
Mt. Bethel Baptist Church
32 Brenham Avenue
Mt. Sinai Baptist Church
170 St. Catherine Street
Shiloh Baptist Church
11 Perrault Street
Zion A.M.E. Church No. 2
7 Quitman Street
Holy Family Catholic Church
30 St. Catherine Street
Zion Chapel A.M.E. Church
228 N. Martin Luther King
Pleasant Green Baptist Church
201 East Franklin Street
Erected by City of Natchez.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Natchez Trails marker series.
Location. 31° 33.55′ N, 91° 23.901′ W. Marker is in Natchez, Mississippi, in Adams County. Marker is at the intersection of North Dr. Martin Luther King Street and St. Catherine Street, on the right on North Dr. Martin Luther King Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Natchez MS 39120, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Zion Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church (here, next to this marker); Zion Chapel A.M.E. Church (within shouting distance of this marker); 300 Block of Martin Luther King Street (within shouting distance of this marker); Views of St. Catherine Street - Western End (within shouting distance of this marker); Rhythm Night Club (within shouting distance of this marker); Hospital Hill Neighborhood (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); 20-30 St. Catherine Street and Eduation (about 500 feet away); Dr. John Banks House - 9 St. Catherine Street (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Natchez.
Categories. • Churches & Religion • Civil Rights • Roads & Vehicles •
Credits. This page was last revised on November 24, 2017. This page originally submitted on September 24, 2017, by Cajun Scrambler of Assumption, Louisiana. This page has been viewed 63 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on November 23, 2017.