Marker Details

St. James United Methodist Church

1217 Wilson St

Houston , 77019

Notes: 09HR19, Class of 2009; listed in THC Atlas with minimal information, not searchable, no text
Directions: Church is two and one half blocks south of West Dallas on Wilson, Wilson is one way northbound, approach Wilson via westbound Andrews or eastbound Ruthven, or northbound from West Gray

Key Time Period: 1866 - 1876 Reconstruction

Corretions/New Research:

No data available

Marker Text: In 1867, a small group of African Americans left Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church to organize a new Methodist congregation closer to their homes in Freedmen’s Town. They began worshipping under a brush arbor on Buffalo Bayou. In 1871, trustees purchased land and built a permanent sanctuary on Howard at Second Street (now Bluebonnet Place Circle at Nash). During the annual Methodist Conference in 1873, the church was named West Point African Methodist Episcopal Church, with the Rev. Gabriel Todd as the first pastor. By 1880, it was renamed St. James Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1908 Houston defined a red-light district that included the church, prompting the members to move their building to the corner of Andrews and Wilson Streets in 1910.

Throughout its history, the St. James congregation has focused on helping those in need. Its Women’s Ministry, formed in the early 1930s, raised scholarship funds for college-bound students. Other ministries include the church’s Home Mission, organized in the 1940s to visit and aid shut-ins, and a youth fellowship formed in the 1950s. Members have also worked in the community through a Food Ministry. The Rev. L. B. Allen and Richard H. Robinson were instrumental in the construction of a new sanctuary built in 1957 by noted architect J. J. Hawkins; Heights Lodge #280 leveled the cornerstone for the edifice. Following the 1968 merger of the Methodist and Evangelical United Brethren Churches, the congregation became St. James United Methodist Church. Today, the earliest Methodist congregation established in Freedmen’s Town continues to serve as a spiritual beacon in Houston. (2009)

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 48.252, 95 23.311

Precinct No: 1

Marker No: 15870