History of the Houston Citywide Baptist Brotherhood Union
The Houston Citywide Baptist Brotherhood Union was first known as the Southern Zone of the State Laymen’s League. The first call for men came December 1, 1941, after the General Baptist Convention of Texas organized us as a convention. On December 10, 1941 we held our first inspirational meeting at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church where Rev. R. T. Bingham served as Pastor. This was the same time the General Baptist Convention of Texas was entertained. There were six or seven churches represented at the meeting. It is well to note that Citywide Movement authorized by Rev. S. R. Prince, President of the General Baptist Convention of Texas under the supervision of the State Laymen League. Brother A. D. Pierrott of Jerusalem Baptist Church was appointed Zone Leader and Bro. Ira Clark of St. John Baptist Church on Dowling was elected as the first President. In January 1942, President Clark saw the necessity of a citywide movement of Laymen to supplement the work of the State and National Brotherhoods. A meeting composed of the key men of the local churches was called at St. John Baptist Church on Dowling Street. It was at this meeting that the Houston Citywide Laymen League was organized. It adopted the same purpose as that of the state Laymen League, namely: to enlist all men to support the whole program of the Church.
Bro. Ira Clark appointed his cabinet which consisted of Bro. Homer Scott, Jordan Grove, Vice President, Bro. Lester Hurks, Greater Mt. Olive, Vice President, Bro. J. L. Hardman, Damascus, Secretary, Bro. W.L. Rodgers, Ross Hill, Treasurer, Bro. F.D. Dinkins, St. John on Dowling, Teacher, Bro. Abe Maiden, Jerusalem, President of President’s Council, Bro. John Henry Davis, St. John on Gray, Vice President of President’s Council, Bro. Grover Norman, Progressive New Hope, Secretary of President’s Council and Bro. J. B. Bledsoe, Jerusalem, Asst. Secretary of President Council. Due to a misunderstanding in 1943, the Citywide Unions was ordered by the State Convention to disband and were forbidden to collect money from any source. However, soon after that President G. L. Prince of the National Baptist Convention authorized the setting up of the Citywide Unions responsible to the National Baptist Brotherhood Union.
From this small beginning, by the year 1955, Citywide Unions were organized in Ft. Worth, Dallas, San Antonio, Beaumont, and in other cities and towns across Texas. Also, Brotherhoods have been organized in New Orleans, Kansas, Missouri, Chicago, Los Angles, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Florida, Mexico, New York, New Jersey, and cities all over America and the Bahamas.
The Houston Citywide Baptist Brotherhood has had five presidents. Ira Clark, Co- Presidents Homer Scott and Lester Hurks, Wendell Neal, President Emeritus Lewis B. Waddell, and the present co-presidents Le Roy Johnson and Woodrow Thomas. The Citywide has a rich history and has seen many men grow in the knowledge and saving grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.