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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Port Wentworth in Chatham County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Houston Baptist

 
 
Houston Baptist Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, May 2008
1. Houston Baptist Marker
Inscription. Houston Baptist Church and its adjoining cemetery were organized in 1886 under the leadership of Reverend Ulysses L. Houston, minister of First Bryan Baptist Church in Savannah. A significant religious and political leader in the African-American community, Houston attended the meeting at Gen. Sherman's Savannah headquarters in January 1865 that resulted in Special Field Order No.15 ( the redistribution of confiscated coastal land in forty- acre tracts to newly freed blacks). Houston also served a term in Georgia's Reconstruction legislature. Established in the tradition of earlier plantation praise houses intended to Christianize the enslaved populations of rural plantations, Houston Baptist Church served the African Americans of Rice Hope Plantation. Houston Baptist Church continued to serve the local community until the 1970s.
 
Erected 2007 by Georgia Historical Society and the North Port Wentworth Citizens Council, Inc. (Marker Number 25-28.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Georgia Historical Society/Commission marker series.
 
Location. 32° 13.947′ N, 81° 11.616′ W. Marker is in Port Wentworth, Georgia, in Chatham County. Marker is at the intersection of Augusta Road
Houston Baptist Church, one-time front steps image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, May 25, 2008
2. Houston Baptist Church, one-time front steps
(State Highway 21) and Old Augusta Road (Old State Highway 21), on the right when traveling west on Augusta Road. Touch for map. Just north past Rice Hope Plantation Road. Marker is in this post office area: Port Wentworth GA 31407, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Historic Ship Anchor (approx. 1.6 miles away); Goshen Church (approx. 1.7 miles away); Richmond Baptist Church (approx. 2.2 miles away); Washington's Southern Tour (approx. 3.6 miles away); Mulberry Grove Plantation (approx. 3.6 miles away); Atlantic Coastal Highway Through Georgia (approx. 5.1 miles away); Managing Water for Wildlife (approx. 6.4 miles away in South Carolina); Rice Field Trunk (approx. 6.4 miles away in South Carolina). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Port Wentworth.
 
Also see . . .
1. The First Colored Baptist Church in North America. Rev. U.L. Houston, Page 263-264 (Submitted on May 27, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.) 

2. Department of History University of Maryland. "Ulysses L. Houston, aged forty-one years, born in Grahamsville, S.C.; slave until the Union army entered Savannah"... Minutes of an interview between the colored ministers and church officers at Savannah with the Secretary Of War and Major- Gen. Sherman (Submitted on May 27, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.) 

3. New Georgia Encyclopedia. Sherman's Field Order No. 15.... The
Houston Baptist Church, a part of the Church Cemetery image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, 2008
3. Houston Baptist Church, a part of the Church Cemetery
order redistributed the roughly 400,000 acres of land to newly freed black families in forty-acre segments. ... Lincoln approved Field Order No. 15 before Sherman issued it just four days after meeting with the black leaders. From Sherman's perspective the most important priority in issuing the directive was military expediency. It served as a means of providing for the thousands of black refugees who had been following his army since its invasion of Georgia. He could not afford to support or protect these refugees while on campaign. (Submitted on May 27, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.) 
 
Categories. African AmericansChurches, Etc.War, US Civil
 
Houston Baptist Marker, just a day after the Church was torn down image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, May 25, 2008
4. Houston Baptist Marker, just a day after the Church was torn down
The Church was in great derelict condition. Missed by a couple hours...saw the last truck of lumber pull away
Houston Baptist Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, March 4, 2012
5. Houston Baptist Marker
By: Alice Massimi | WSAV-TV Published: February 25, 2012PORT WENTWORTH, GA -- After years of hard work the reconstruction of the Houston Praise House is officially complete. The praise house built in the 1800s was used by slaves at area plantations. It was one of the original 13 Savannah River Plantation Praise Houses. It was founded by the Rev. Ulysses Houston, a Savannah religious and political leader, in 1886. The original structure was not able to be saved but with the help of the community they were able to build an exact replica. It will be used as heritage museum. "It was a challenge to build this building back so we could preserve the history in this area. Through Effingham and Chatham there is so much history we need people to know about," explains Morris Oglesby who over saw the project. This is just phase one of the project. They are aslo hoping to be able to restore and indentify grave markers in the nearby cemetery, some dating back to 1889.
Houston Baptist Praise House with Marker and a few of the mentioned nearby graves image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, March 4, 2012
6. Houston Baptist Praise House with Marker and a few of the mentioned nearby graves
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 27, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,690 times since then and 50 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on May 27, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   5, 6. submitted on March 9, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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