Holman Street Baptist Church was founded in1937 out of a little church named Pine Grove Baptist Church. Pine Grove was located on Cobb Street off Holman Street with little room to grow physically.
Property became available on Holman Street which prompted some of Pine Grove members to search for a better location . A meeting was held at the home of Deacon John Lofton and Sister Evelyn Lofton (parents of Sister Peggy Small) which Pine Grove member, Reverend F. E. Taylor attended. The purpose of the meeting was to organize a church in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. God answered their prayers and a new church was formed with Reverend F.E. Taylor as the first pastor.
The new church was named after the street on which it was located, Holman Street, as suggested by Pastor Taylor.
The Holman Street Baptist Church congregation held its first service on June 15, 1937. The 37 faithful individuals gathered at a small neighborhood store offered by the late Reverend Isaac Jenkins at the corner of Tierwester and Winbern.
The Reverend Floyd Turner preached the groundbreaking service on July 4, 1937 and the foundation for the first building was laid five days later on July 9th. On August 8, 1937, the faithful congregation entered their new sanctuary where Reverend NC Crane of St. John Baptist Church delivered the message.
The church was remodeled from 1946 – 1947 and Holman Street Baptist Church held its first homecomings observation on November 9, 1947 where Reverend Gaskin led the service.
Pastor Taylor served Holman Street for 14 years until he was led to a church in California in 1951. Reverend Cecil M Davis was installed as the second pastor of Holman Street Baptist Church on October 14, 1951 at the recommendation of Pastor Taylor
Pastor Davis led Holman Street for four years until 1955 when he accepted a calling to Pastor Saint Matthew Baptist Church in Galena Park Fidelity area of the city.
Holman Street again look inward for its next spiritual leader. Reverend Sherman A. Douglas was named the third Pastor Holman Street Baptist Church. Pastor Douglas join the church as a young man in 1948. He served as a deacon and church clerk before being called to preach in 1952. Pastor Douglas was a young associate preacher when he was installed in August 1955.
Holman Street Baptist Church began a steady path of growth under Pastor Douglas’ inspiring and anointed leadership. He believed with the church’s support that a full-time pastor would be best for the church and its future.
Pastor Douglas was dedicated to the local and national communities and worked to lift the burdens of his people and to open doors of opportunity. He was a personal friend to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and joined other young pastors who brought the civil rights leader to Houston to meet the community and raise money for the Civil Rights Movement.
pastor Douglas also worked closely with Reverend Ray Martin of the Progressive Amateur Boxing Association (PABA), the NAACP in the Gulf Coast Community Service Association we are he served as deputy director. He also became the third vice moderator of the Independent Missionary Baptist General Association (IMBGA) and presided over mission #2.
Holman Street started its second transformation in November 1962 when construction began on a new sanctuary. Pastor Douglas lead the congregation into their new home in June 1963 we are Reverend LH Simpson of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church preached the entrance day celebration service.
On July 7, 1974 Pastor Douglas and church musician Sister Zelda Miller produced a memorial album in tribute to Sister Barbara Rose Franklin, the Minister of Music. The album titled “Contrary Winds,” a noted sermon preached by Pastor Douglas.
on October 4, 1977 God called Pastor Douglas home to rest after leading Holman Street Baptist Church for 22 years. During his tenure, he licensed eight sons in the ministry. One of his sons in the ministry was Manson B Johnson II who accepted his calling to preach on February 16, 1975.
After Pastor Douglas’ death, Holman Street named Shepherd Manson B. Johnson as the church’s fourth spiritual leader. He became the Shepherd-Teacher of Holman Street Baptist Church on October 19, 1977.
Taking his cue from our Heavenly Father, Shepherd Johnson began a Bible-based ministry that would take Holman Street on a journey of praise, prayer, and preaching to educate the masses and save souls.
on July 1, 1983 the church allowed Sheppherd Johnson to employ two full-time ministers to assist the pastor in various ministries.
in 1984, Holman Street Baptist Church start acquiring property in the Third Ward area beginning with the Winford Motel that was adjacent to the east parking lot. The motel allowed Holman Street to expand its Sunday School, Orientation, and Youth Ministries.
Under the Shepherd’s leadership, the Holman Street Church purchase properties through the neighborhood with the intention of restoring and improving the area and raising the standard of living. Holman Street presently controls approximately 20 acres in the Greater Third Ward section of Houston, which is located just one and a half miles from the Downtown Central Business District.
Other ministry and community progress under Shepherd Johnson, include but is not limited to the following:
- 1980 – Purchased 5.5 acre plot of land at 5100 Scott St. for the church and community recreation outreach.
- 1985 – Reclaimed Unity National Bank (Old Riverside National Bank) from FDIC for the community.
- 1987 – Founded Families Under Urban & Social Attack (Now “Change Happens”)
- 1989 – Led the effort to purchase Unity National Bank for the community, the only African American owned bank in Texas.
- 1994 – Chaired Third Ward Redevelopment Council and produced a written plan to revitalize the historic Greater Third Ward.
- 1995 – Founded South East Houston Community Development Corporation
- 1996 – Founded Youth Awareness Mentoring Outreach (YAMO), a youth organization to assist in combating negative elements among community children and youth
- 1997 – Created East Side Village neighbor plan for revitalization through the City of Houston Planning Department
- 1998 – Founded East Side Community Learning Center that fosters literacy and technology programs for the youth and adults of the community (named Center of Technology of the Year For All, Inc. in 2002)
- 2001 – Participated in Mayor Lee P. Brown’s After School Assistance Program 9ASAP) for youth
- 2002 – Founded the Greater Third Ward Sports Association (GTWSA) to benefit community youth development and combat crime and negative social issues among youth
- 2007 – Instituted “The Tool Box” for training men and boys
More than 40 ministries and outreaches have been developed under the leadership of Shepherd Johnson. His vision is focused on improving the quality of life for the residents of Third Ward and Houston. Some of the Shepherd’s work includes building more new homes, upgrading the computer literacy center, job training, expanding educational awareness, expanding senior citizens outreaches, developing more youth programs, developing partnerships, health and wellness education, and civic developments.
One of Shepherd Johnson‘s most visible accomplishments was the transformation of Holman Street Baptist Church into a 48,000 square feet new sanctuary and meeting space while keeping the 7000 square feet original building with plenty of on-site parking. He led the excited membership and community into this magnificent and glorious edifice on September 20, 1998.
The new Holman Street Baptist Church comprised of 15 meeting rooms with computer network access, 13 restrooms, two elevators, two spacious multi-purpose meeting areas, a state of the art audio/video computerized sound and lighting system, double 12 x 20 computerized video screens, a private prayer room, 10 baptistery dressing rooms, a lighted roof with a 40 foot cross and much more.
Shepherd-Teacher Manson B. Johnson has thus far licensed over 50 ministers during his leadership.
Holman Street Baptist Church has come a long way since its humble beginnings of 37 members. Under the guiding hand of our Father in Heaven, we feel that the church has been edified and God has been glorified. There is more to come! God is the great “I am!” Look where He has brought the Holman Street Baptist Church from; we shall never forget and we shall forever praise His Holy and Righteous name.
In April 2020, Holman Street Baptist Church went to virtual service only due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Shepherd Johnson continued to preach God’s word even in a pandemic. On May 31, 2020, Shepherd Teacher Manson B. Johnson was called home to be with God. Shepherd Johnson led Holman Street Baptist Church for over 43 years.
After Shepherd Johnson’s death, the church moved forward and prayed for a new pastor. On December 27, 2020, Pastor Murray G. Martin was called as the fifth pastor of Holman Street Baptist Church. On February 5th, 2021 Pastor Martin preached his first sermon at Holman Street Baptist Church titled “Built To Last!”
We are excited for what God is doing in the life of Holman Street Baptist Church as Pastor Martin takes us to “New Territory” as we continue to trust God.