Details for Union Missionary Baptist Church (Atlas Number 5507017064)

Historical Marker — Atlas Number 5507017064


Marker Number 17064
Atlas Number 5507017064
Marker Title Union Missionary Baptist Church
Index Entry Union Missionary Baptist Church
Address 520 Houston Street
City Jefferson
County Marion
UTM Zone
UTM Easting
UTM Northing
Subject Codes African American topics; buildings; Baptist denomination; churches
Marker Year 2011
Designations Recorded Texas Historic Landmark
Marker Location 520 Houston Street, Jefferson
Marker Size 18" x 28"
Marker Text This site is one of the area’s oldest associated with African-American heritage. In 1842, Captain William Perry conveyed property to local slaves to establish a place of worship along the road to Marshall Crossing Cypress Bayou. The nondenominational church was open to all people. A sanctuary built here in 1847 also represents one of the earliest black churches in Texas. Following the Civil War, the church was reportedly home to Loyal League, Radical Republican and Freedmen’s Bureau activity. Reverend Duncan helped formally establish the congregation in 1868. During this reconstruction period, federal troops occupied Jefferson. Numerous buildings were burned, including the church, and during a time of sustained violence, church members including Albert Browning were killed. L. S. Schluter helped rebuild the church in 1883, conveying property to trustees Jordan Tice, Henry Bayley and Don Word. Reverend J. H. Patterson led a rededication ceremony with a cornerstone for the new church building. The main sanctuary is of frame construction, with a square bell tower and entry, horizontal siding, window crowns and exposed rafter ends. A sunken brick baptismal (later filled in) was built behind the sanctuary. N. Beckham served as pastor for 20 years. According to a 1917 account, the church had a membership of 180, paid its pastor $200 per year, and had a “splendid Sunday school, Star Light Band and W. H. M. Society.” Over the years, the building fell into disrepair and was scheduled for demolition before a diverse group of interested parties began restoration efforts in 2003. Today, the site remains a beloved symbol of African-American identity and of the community. RECORDED TEXAS HISTORIC LANDMARK – 2011