Did You Know?
Good Hope Missionary Baptist church was established by the Rev. Samuel Grantham. The pastor first held services in his own backyard before members built a structure out of wooden boxes. Because of its appearance, this first building was called a baking box church. In 1872, members formally established the church and erected a more permanent sanctuary in Houston’s Fourth Ward. The church became an important place of worship for African Americans in Houston, and early members included former slaves. Since that time, the church has developed into one of Houston’s leading community and spiritual institutions.
Several noteworthy Texans have been members of this church. Rev. Albert Anderson Lucas is one of several prominent pastors in the church’s history. He simultaneously pastored at Good Hope and served as president of the local chapter of the NAACP. Dr. Lonnie Smith, another member, was the plaintiff in the significant U.S. Supreme Court case of Smith v. Allwright, which led to minority voting rights in primary elections. Barbara Jordan, the first African American U.S. Congresswoman from the south, was also a member of the church.
Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church has continued in its service to the community through a variety of outreach programs. Over the years, the church has become an essential part of Houston’s progress. The contributions of its leaders and members have had a positive impact on not only African Americans in the city of Houston, but also on men and women throughout the world.