John Henry (Jack) Yates, a former slave and one of the first ordained African American Baptist ministers in Houston, was the inaugural preacher at one of Houston’s oldest African American Baptist congregations, the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church. The church was originally organized in historic Freedmen’s Town in 1866. The sanctuary, built in 1875, stands on a corner in the shadow of downtown Houston. Queen Elizabeth II visited the church in 1991, and her picture is just one of the church’s many interesting artifacts and memorabilia. The cruciform chapel includes a set of beautiful stained-glass windows and intricately carved wooden doors. While in the area, be sure to visit Sam Houston Park a few blocks away, where visitors can see the house that belonged to Jack Yates.
Antioch Missionary Baptist Church