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.
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