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MSS0281

About this collection

John Henry (Jack) Yates was born in Gloucester County, Virginia in 1828. He and his wife Harriet were born into slavery and later forced to move to Matagorda County in Texas.  With the coming of Emancipation in June 1865, the Yates family moved to Houston and quickly became influential members of the Freedman’s Town community in the Fourth Ward.  By 1869, Yates had purchased several lots of land in the area, including on Andrews street, building his house at 1318 Andrews.  Yates became the first full time pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in 1868.  Later, with the leadership of Yates; Antioch Baptists and Trinity Methodist Church purchased land and created Emancipation Park for civic and social uses by African-Americans in Houston.  Yates also helped to establish the Houston Academy, and Bishop College in Marshall, Texas. Yates left Antioch and started Bethel Baptist Church in 1890.  He passed away from a brief illness in 1869. 

 

Yates had twelve children and many more grandchildren.  Two of them, Martha Countee Whiting and Olee Yates McCullough provided the photographs for this collection featured here.  For more information on the Reverend Jack Yates and Antioch Baptist Church Collection, please visit our online finding aid here

 

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