Signed in as:
Signed in as:
“After the Civil War early settlers worshiped with the Methodist group and later organized the Colored Missionary Baptist Church of Oak Cliff.” El Bethel Baptist Church was located on Tenth Street (the back Parking lot) it was founded by Noah Penn a Pioneer of Tenth Street who was the Coachman of TL Marsalis 1886.
The Congregation moved to the Northwest of 9th and Cliff under the leadership of Snack Best. The building burned and was rebuilt on South West corner of 9th and Cliff Street in 1905. The basement was dug out by former slaves and mule teams. The congregation remained over 18 years.
In 1924 a new leader W. L. Dickson was selected who was never a pastor of a church before, but he built an orphanage in Gilmer, TX the congregation wanted him to handle the business and finances of the church.
“Mrs. Lucy Bell took out 5,000 dollars from a granny sack and put on the table because the church members were fighting and said “Let’s build a church.”
“Reverend Dickson went to Tuskegee Alabama and commission William Sidney Pitman son in law of Booker T. Washington and a crew of men to build the top portion of the church it was completed 1926.
The church name was changed in 1926 to New El Bethel. The members found out that Rev. Dickson had not paid a note in 3 years he deeded the church to him and his heirs. He was taken to court and voted out of the church. New El Bethel was foreclosed. BP Martinez from Spain who loaned the money did not want the church.
During the depression church was closed. It was rented out to Antioch.
Mr. Jo Simpson collected the rent when they were late he forced them out and locked the church.
The membership convinced Mr. Simpson to reopen the church because of the work of members like Mittie Penn, Sarah Jordan, and Reverend I. D. Williams.
1931 the Church was reopened and they moved back in under the name of Greater EL Bethel and paid off the mortgage under the leadership of Rev. C. H. Hinton.
There are 3 branches of El Bethel: Antioch Baptist Church, New El Bethel and Greater El Bethel.
Snack Best 1905 - 1924
Reverend Dickson 1924 - 1931
Rev. C. H. Hinton 1931 - 1950's
Reverend F. L. Peterson Early 1950’s
Reverend F.D. Davis 1955 - 1965
Dr. C. C. McNealy Jr. 1969 - 2005
Dr. William McNealy 2005 - 2022
Dr. Slavoski L. Wright Sr 2022 -
Calendar Dallas Black Church’s 1880’s Ellen Larkin and Dr. Mamie Mcknight Historian: Courtesy of Dallas Public Library
Recorded Archived History by Noble Sims (Courtesy of Lounell Sims)
Arrangement by Shaun Montgomery
Pictures - (Courtesy of Lounell Sims, Brenda Kelley)