Mission Centers of Houston serve impoverished communities in the inner city of Houston, TX by providing for the physical and spiritual needs of people. Ministries include: Food and Clothing Distribution, Kids' Clubs, Preteen & Teen Clubs, Senior Adult Ministry, E.S.L. Classes and more!
Mission Centers of Houston is a subsidiary corporation of Union Baptist Association (www.ubahouston.org).
MCH is a non-profit, 501 (c) (3) organization supported by individuals, churches and grants. All gifts to MCH are tax-deductible according to I.R.S. guidelines.
2014 Board of Directors:
Mr. Marc Schwartz, Chairman
Mr. Biff Adam, Vice Chairman
Mr. Pat Pollan
Mr. Don Ellis
Mr. Nate Stockard
Mrs. Sherri Pierce
For over 54 years, the Mission Centers of Houston have worked to transform the lives of people living in Houston's inner city and the people who come here to serve them. As MCH enters a new century, that commitment to transformation continues to grow and mature.
In the early 1940's, an existing ministry to children and families was moved from the Primera Iglesia Bautista Houston to the Mexican Goodwill Center. This center operated primarily as a ministry to impoverished Latinos in Houston's Near Northside. In 1960, the center became the property of the Union Baptist Association. Miss Mary Terry served as a mission worker at this center until 1963, when the Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention joined the UBA in supporting this work. At that time, the center was renamed the Fletcher Mission Center, and Miss Mildred McWhorter was appointed Director of the center. For the next 30 years, "Miss Mac's" name would be synonymous with inner city Baptist mission work in Houston.
In 1965, another center was opened on Avenue F in Magnolia Park neighborhood near the Houston Ship Channel. Seeing the expressions of joy on the faces of neighborhood children whenever they arrived, "Miss Mac" named it the Joy Fellowship Center. During the 1960's and 1970's, Miss McWhorter and other volunteers visited the two neighborhoods, learning the needs of the residents and developing a variety of programs to address those needs, including after-school ministries for children and teenagers, food and clothing distribution, ESL and GED classes, job placement, and of course, Bible study and worship. Success was not immediate. It took time to gain the trust of the communities, but the Lord eventually rewarded prayers and hard work with very fruitful ministries.
In 1980, the Gano Mission Center, located a few blocks from the Fletcher Center, became part of the Baptist Mission Centers. This sizable property included the historic "Industrial Home," a three-story building that provided housing for visiting missionaries. This building was demolished in 1999 to make room for a new building that would provide improved facilities for missionary housing and ministry programs.
In 1989, Mason Drive Baptist Church, a predominantly Anglo congregation in the Magnolia Park neighborhood, closed its doors. The property was donated to the Union Baptist Association, and the Mason Drive Mission Center came under the Baptist Mission Centers' umbrella. After serving as a mission center for seven years, it was sold to a new congregation in 1996.
During the last quarter of the twentieth century, "Miss Mac" became a well-known missionary speaker and promoter of home missions. Miss McWhorter retired as Director of the Baptist Mission Centers in December of 1992. In 1993, Miss Myrtle Tolley was appointed as Interim Director while a search was conducted for new leadership of the BMC.
In April of 1994, the Baptist Mission Centers' Executive Board selected Miss Dorcas Camacho as Administrator of the BMC. Miss Camacho was married shortly afterward. In 1997, she and her husband, Emerson Byrd, were appointed as Co-Administrators of the Baptist Mission Centers. The Byrds faithfully served the inner city communities of Near Northside and Magnolia Park until the summer of 2002, when Emerson joined the United States Army as a Chaplain and was stationed at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, CO. Chris Bryan, BMC Board Member, assumed the role of Interim Administrator.
In October of 2002, Miss Ginger Smith was appointed as Executive Director of Baptist Mission Centers.
In 2008, the BMC Board of Directors voted to change the name to “Mission Centers of Houston.”
On December 3, 2012, Mission Centers of Houston purchased a new facility, which will be called the Kenny Morris Women’s Empowerment Center. This new facility will ultimately provide solutions to many issues faced by the women in the communities we serve, such as job skill development, spiritual growth, improved parenting, and also programs to address human trafficking.
“I am so excited about the endless possibilities this facility provides,” said Ginger Smith, Executive Director for Mission Centers of Houston. “I look forward to working with our board, area churches and our valued supporters in bringing this dream to fruition.”
During 2014, Mission Centers will develop a plan to renovate the structure and raise the necessary funding to begin operating the facility. We will provide periodic updates as this exciting new ministry takes shape.