Current markers

First Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church

Main Image
Year: 2014
Marker Number: 17909
Street: 4420 Lyons Ave
City: Houston
Zip Code: 77020
Longitude: 95 325.182
Latitude: 29 775.776
Website:
Phone:
Key Map:
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Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church was established in 1891 in the Fifth Ward of Houston. It is one of the oldest Baptist American churches in the area. The congregation was made up of displaced Shreveport residents, who were forced to leave after the flood of 1890 left them without homes or jobs. The first pastor, Rev. Judge P. Parker, led his small congregation in houses for three years until they rented the colored odd Fellows Hall on McMillan St. The church was commonly referred to as “The Louisiana Church.”

In 1898, property was purchased in the 2900 block of Providence St. and a brush arbor was constructed on the site. The first permanent edifice, a large stone structure with a baptistery, was erected in the early 1900s. In 1947, the congregation purchased land adjacent to the church and built a two-story brick building for educational purchases. The church moved to its current site on Lyons Ave. in 1953 when the property at Providence St. was sold to the city of Houston. The congregation’s new worship facility was designed by John Saunders Chase, Jr. Texas’ first licensed African American architect. The church was renamed First Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church when the new building was finished in 1955.

Noted church members include Louise Ozelle Martin, the church’s official photographer, who chronicled Houston’s Black society and opened a photography school: and Catharine Adams who had a city park named in her honor due to her work with community organizations and area youth. In 1985, the B. H. Roberts Institute was established to honor the late pastor who served the community for 35 years. The church still serves the as a place of worship for the now diverse Fifth Ward community.

 

 

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