Bethany Baptist Church
7304 Homestead Road
Houston , 77028
nothing on reverse; Pastor Dr. Steve W. Hall, 713-633-4841
Directions: From Hwy 59 go east on E. Crosstimbers; E. Crosstimbers becomes Ley Road, south/right on Homestead, the church is on the east/left side of Homestead at Kittridge; the maker is on the north side of the church, near the northwest corner of the building
Key Time Period: 1920 - 1940 Post-WW I & Depression
Marker Text: Bethany Baptist Church has played an important role as a spiritual and community leader in Houston. Though having strong connections with a separate Bethany Baptist Church founded in 1922, members organized this church as Houston Garden Baptist Church in 1935. It was structured by the Rev. Thomas W. White, the Rev. W. T. Turner and the Rev. M.M. Wolf. The Rev. Oscar E. Reifel served as its first pastor. The congregation erected a sanctuary in 1936, followed by a new house of worship in 1941. The church changed it name to Bethany Baptist in 1946.
Members established the church in the Houston Gardens community. The federal government helped to create the neighborhood as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Resettlement Administration, which worked to resettle low-income rural families to urban areas.
By the 1970s, demographics in the area changed from predominately Anglo American to African American. During that time, Bethany was the only one of four predominately black churches in the Union Baptist Association that began as an all-white congregation to survive the era of change without merging or facing foreclosure. Bethany Baptist Church became an example of positive, successful institutional integration when the Rev. Curley Edward Carr, an associate pastor, became the congregation’s first African American head pastor in 1971.
Over the years, the Bethany Baptist congregation has experienced substantial growth and development. It continues to serve the surrounding area of northeast Houston as a spiritual, educational and community leader. (2006)
Marker Type: Marker with Post
Historical Org: Texas Historical Commission (THC)
Key Map Information: 454 M
GPS Coordinates: 29 43.171, 95 16.514
Precinct No: 1
Marker No: 13608