top of page

Mt. Rose Missionary Baptist Church History

Mt. Rose Missionary Baptist Church, the oldest African American baptist congregation in Brenham and one of the first in Washington County, had its origins in secret church meetings held by runaway slaves and freedmen in the area in the 1850s. 


After the Civil War, federal troops posted near this site in an area called Camptown.  The presence of the 17th Infantry Division and an office of the Freedmen's Bureau ensured freedom of religious expression for emancipated Blacks in Brenham. 


The First Baptist Church of Brenham offered letters of membership to the freed Blacks, but the group wanted to establish their own church.  Thus, Mt. Rose was formally organized in 1868, led by Rev. Joe Lawson and Rev. James McBride.  The church is named in honor of Rose Armstead-Whitaker, who gave a lot of her time and money to the church. 


For several years, church services were held in brush arbors, in nearby homes, and finally in the soldiers' dining hall at Camptown.  Mt. Rose and St. John A.M.E. held services there on alternating Sundays.  When U.S. troops left, their land was sold and the proceeds were divided between Mt. Rose and St. John A.M.E. churches. 


Mt. Rose's first permanent sanctuary was built in 1874, under Rev. Alfred Parker's tenure.  Mt. Rose joined the Lincoln District Baptist Association in 1878 and remained a member for more than 130 years.  Mt. Rose has enjoyed continuity in increasingly larger facilities on the same site since its organization.

Pastoral Leadership

Rev. James McBride


Rev. Moses Johnson


Rev. Wesley Barber


Rev. J.L. Harris


Rev. Jessie Lampley


Rev. J. Emerson Dennis


Complete Listing of the Pastoral Leadership


1866-1868          Rev. James McBride                      Co-Founder of the church

1866-1873          Rev. Joe Lawson                             Co-Founder of the church

1873-1876          Rev. James M. Parker                    1st church building was built (1874)

1876-1898          Rev. Moses Johnson                      2nd church building was built (1888)

1899-1901          Rev. Jefferson ("Fee") Garrett         

1901-1905          Rev. Stonewall Jackson

1905-1917          Rev. J. R. McGill                               3rd church building was built (1909)

1917-1918          Rev. _______ Bushell

1918-1921          Rev. _______ Doldson

1921-1925          Rev. J. A. Jackson

1925-1925          Rev. _______ White

1925-1929          Rev. Wesley (W.S.) Barber            4th church building was built (1926)

1929-1937          Rev. J. L. Harris

1937-1942          Rev. Robert H. (R.H.) Burney

1942-1945          Rev. Alfred (A.D.) Duncan

1945-1946          Rev. Jessie (J.L.) Lampley

1946-1997          Rev. J. Emerson Dennis                 5th church building was built (1967)

1998-1999          Rev. James L. Ray

2000-Present     Rev. (Dr.) John D. Harris                Major renovations of the church (2005)

Rev. (Dr.) John D. Harris


bottom of page