Yates, Rev. John Henry "Jack"
3500 West Dallas
Houston , 77019
09HR23, Class of 2009; Atlas # added 11-8-09; THC Atlas entry with minimal information, not searchable, no marker text
Directions: marker is in (HTC) College Memorial Park Cemetery, east of Shepherd & west of Dunlevy, on south side of West Dallas; To marker, enter gate at northeast corner of cemetery, head south and then right on first road approx. 40 yards to marker/grave site on left
Key Time Period: 1866 - 1876 Reconstruction
Marker Text: (July 11, 1828 - December 22, 1897)
The Rev. John Henry "Jack" Yates, an important leader in Houston’s late 19th century African-American community, was born into slavery in Gloucester, Virginia, where he learned to read and write. After attending slave religious meetings, Yates became a Christian; he soon began visiting nearby farms to hold prayer meetings. He and his wife Harriet (Willis) reared eleven children. After her death in 1887, he and his second wife, Annie (Freeman), had one son.
By 1863, Yates moved with his slave owner to Matagorda County, Texas. After Emancipation, the Yates family moved to Houston, where Jack worked as a drayman and preached to Baptist congregations on nights and Sundays. He was ordained and became Minister of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in 1868. The Rev. Yates encouraged his congregants to educate themselves, acquire property and learn trades. He led by example, purchasing land in 1869 and 1870 in the Freedmen’s Town neighborhood of Fourth Ward.
During Yates’ Pastorate, Antioch Missionary Baptist Church became a center of social, political, educational, economic and recreational activity. The Rev. Yates also helped to organize other area churches and was a cofounder of Emancipation Park (1872). He lobbied for Bishop College, the first black Baptist College in Texas, to be in Houston, but it opened in Marshall in 1881, so he established Houston Baptist Academy in 1885. It was later known as Houston College. The Rev. Yates left Antioch in 1890 and then organized Bethel Baptist Church. Yates died in 1897, but his impact as a significant figure in Houston’s African-American community still resounds today. (2009)
Marker is property of the State of Texas
Marker Type: Marker with Post
Historical Org: Texas Historical Commission (THC)
Key Map Information: 492 R
GPS Coordinates: 29 45.407, 95 24.315
Precinct No: 1
Marker No: 15798