Greater Zion Missionary Baptist Church
Tierwester and Hadley
Houston , 77004
Reverend L. David Punch, Pastor (713) 659-7735; church address is 3202 Trulley St. but the church actually faces Tierwester, Velasco does not extend to this side of Hwy 45
Directions: South of I-45 eastbound from I-45 feeder (Pierce St.), south on Tierwester to Hadley; or North on Tierwester from McGowen St.
Key Time Period: 1893 - 1919 City Beautiful - WW I
Marker Text: Members of Greater Zion Missionary Baptist Church have served residents of Houston’s greater Third Ward since the late 1800s. Tradition holds that the Rev. Gilbert Green and several area residents organized the church, which first met under a brush arbor at this location. The Rev. Green was the first pastor of what was then known as Little Zion Missionary Baptist Church.
Early pastors encouraged growth in the African American congregation, whose members often had to work in very low-paying jobs. Soon, the congregation turned toward serving the greater Third Ward. Community programs flourished, particularly under the Rev. Moses Leonard Price, the longest serving pastor for the church (1938-1984). The Rev. Price was involved in numerous community, social and religious organizations. He focused the members’ time and resources especially toward educational programs. Under his pastorate, the church opened a kindergarten, started a scholarship fund and implemented the summer enrichment program to offer tutoring for area students. After building the current sanctuary on the adjacent block in 1958, the church opened an educational building on its former site. Members have also run a food pantry, offered donations to the needy and developed a program to build affordable homes in the neighborhood.
Besides the church’s pastors, a number of members have been vital community leaders. Several former members have also become pastors of other churches. Today, Greater Zion Missionary Baptist Church continues to serve as a spiritual, social, cultural and economic leader in Houston. (2008)
Marker is property of the State of Texas
Marker Type: Marker with Post
Historical Org: Texas Historical Commission (THC)
Key Map Information: 493 Z
GPS Coordinates: 29 73.624, 95 35.237
Precinct No: 1
Marker No: 15130