“The cornerstone of the East Side” is how historian Kenneth Mason describes the Baptist church, underlining its importance in establishing and building San Antonio’s black community after the Civil War. In fact, this area was initially called the “Baptist Settlement” because of the density of these institutions. This spring, City Council District 2 and the Office of Historic Preservation undertook a new survey and designation initiative, focusing on historic Eastside churches. As part of the Scout SA initiative, dozens of sites were documented and researched, resulting in a preliminary list of over 30 properties that are eligible for historic designation. Some parishes still have active congregations after over a century of worship! Although many of the original structures are gone, these institutions played an integral role in developing and sustaining resilient communities and represent the cultural heritage of the Eastside.
Check out the survey results by clicking the link for our interactive map below.