New Zion Temple Church
1601 Ruthven at Gillette
Houston , 77019
Notes: Class of 2011, 11HR22; marker received c02-04-2013; marker not searchable by Keyword in THC Atlas, locate via marker search by County; dedication scheduled for Sunday, September 8, 2013 at 3p
Directions: From West Dallas south on Genesee four blocks to Ruthven, east on Ruthven one block to Gillette; the church is adjacent to Wiley Park on its south and west side; marker is on the northeast corner of the building
Key Time Period: 1920 - 1940 Post-WW I & Depression
Marker Text: New Zion Temple Church - Worldwide Fellowship, Inc. was founded as "The Little Church on Ruthven Street," a church of God in Christ Congregation. Bishop Hayward W. Falls fulfilled the community’s needs by using donated supplies to erect a wood-framed storefront building in March 1933 at 1601 Ruthven, in the historic Freedmen’s Town district of the Fourth Ward. He bought the property in 1938 and sold it to church trustees for one dollar. When the storefront building was expanded and renovated in September 1941, the name was changed to "New Zion Temple Church of God in Christ." The current edifice was erected and opened in May 1946.
The congregation remained under Church of God in Christ jurisdiction until May 1951, when elder Falls heeded the call of God and established "New Zion Temple" as non-denominational. Elder Falls was an early disciple and later an overseer of the Latter Rain movement, which interprets the bible in a symbolic and stylized manner. With the organization of the Worldwide Fellowship in 1952, New Zion Temple became headquarters and host for its national meetings and conventions. On May 26, 1983, its name officially changed to include "Worldwide Fellowship, Inc."
New Zion Temple has been committed to spreading the word of God. With its assistance, other churches have been established in Texas, California, Louisiana, Ohio, Jamaica, the Bahamas, and England. Today, the congregation supports a food pantry and clothes closet, annual holiday donations, a prison ministry, and Juneteenth celebrations. Known for its generosity, the church has served as a nucleus for social, economic, educational, political, and cultural life.
175 Years of Texas Independence * 1836-2011
Marker is property of the State of Texas
Marker Type: Marker with Post
Historical Org: Texas Historical Commission (THC)
Key Map Information: 493 P
GPS Coordinates: 29 45.305, 95 22.992
Precinct No: 1
Marker No: 17015