College Memorial Park Cemetery, Houston, Texas 0101111336BW

College Memorial Park Cemetery, Houston, Texas 0101111336BW
Colleges In Virginia
Image by Patrick Feller
The Texas Historical Commission Marker Reads:

REV. JOHN HENRY "JACK" YATES
(JULY 11, 1828 – DECEMBER 22, 1897)

THE REV. JOHN HENRY "JACK" YATES, AN IMPORTANT LEADER IN HOUSTON’S LATE 19TH CENTURY AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY, WAS BORN INTO SLAVERY IN GLOUCESTER, VIRGINIA, WHERE HE LEARNED TO READ AND WRITE. AFTER ATTENDING SLAVE RELIGIOUS MEETINGS, YATES BECAME A CHRISTIAN. HE SOON BEGAN VISITING NEARBY FARMS TO HOLD PRAYER MEETINGS. HE AND HIS WIFE HARRIET (WILLIS) REARED ELEVEN CHILDREN. AFTER HER DEATH IN 1887, HE AND HIS SECOND WIFE, ANNIE (FREEMAN), HAD ONE SON.

BY 1863, YATES MOVED WITH HIS SLAVE OWNER TO MATAGORDA COUNTY, TEXAS. AFTER EMANCIPATION, THE YATES FAMILY MOVED TO HOUSTON, WHERE JACK WORKED AS A DRAYMAN AND PREACHED TO BAPTIST CONGREGATIONS ON NIGHTS AND SUNDAYS. HE WAS ORDAINED AND BECAME MINISTER OF ANTIOCH MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH IN 1868. THE REV. YATES ENCOURAGED HIS CONGREGANTS TO EDUCATE THEMSELVES, ACQUIRES PROPERTY AND LEARN TRADES. HE LED BY EXAMPLE, PURCHASING LAND IN 1869 AND 1870 IN THE FREEDMEN’S TOWN NEIGHBORHOOD OF FOURTH WARD.

DURING YATES’ PASTORATE, ANTIOCH MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH BECAME A CENTER OF SOCIAL, POLITICAL, EDUCATIONAL, ECONOMIC AND RECREATIONAL ACTIVITY. THE REV. YATES ALSO HELPED TO ORGANIZE OTHER AREA CHURCHES AND WAS A COFOUNDER OF EMANCIPATION PARK (1872). HE LOBBIED FOR BISHOP COLLEGE, THE FIRST BLACK BAPTIST COLLEGE IN TEXAS, TO BE IN HOUSTON, BUT IT OPENED IN MARSHALL IN 1881, SO HE ESTABLISHED HOUSTON BAPTIST ACADEMY IN 1885. IT WAS LATER KNOWN AS HOUSTON COLLEGE. THE REV. YATES LEFT ANTIOCH IN 1890 AND THEN ORGANIZED BETHEL BAPTIST CHURCH. YATES DIED IN 1897, BUT HIS IMPACT AS A SIGIFICANT FIGURE IN HOUSTON’S AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY STILL RESOUNDS TODAY

One of the three oldest African-American cemeteries in Houston.

www.historictexas.net/cemeteries/3c/2h/harris/harris-mark…

Comments are closed.