An Official Texas Historical Marker will be unveiled this weekend for Longview’s Jerusalem Baptist Church, 1327 E. Cotton St. The public is invited to the 10 a.m. Saturday, September 14 event at the church. Participating in the marker dedication will be representatives from the church, city, county and Gregg County Historical Commission.
Jerusalem Baptist Church grew out of a group of African Americans known as the Consolidated Brotherhood, which worshiped at the “Junction,” a railroad center located just east of downtown Longview. In the 1890s, worshipers bought land for what became Jerusalem Baptist Church. As membership grew, the original sanctuary was razed and rebuilt.
According to the new historical marker, “Rev. R.B. Bradley became the first fulltime pastor in September 1942. Under his leadership a parsonage was erected and the church enlarged.
“Nationally recognized gospel minister Rev. S.Y. Nixson served the church during the civil rights movement. During Rev. Nixson’s tenure, the educational annex was built and the auditorium was bricked and air conditioned. Rev. Nixson was a spokesperson for equality in education and helped end segregation in the Longview public schools.
Jerusalem Baptist Church continues to be a place of stability and spiritual strength in the African American community.” For more information about Saturday’s marker unveiling, call Marilyn Jones at 903-736-0675.
Gregg County is home to more than 100 Official Texas Historical Markers denoting people, places and events of historical significance. The Gregg County Historical Commission oversees the county’s historic preservation program. Working with Jerusalem Baptist Church officials was the local historical commission’s research and marker committee chaired by Gem Meacham.