“Sharing God's Love by Touching Lives”
History of Airway Baptist Church of Houston, Texas
(As written for the 50th anniversary, January 27, 2007. From stories of charter members)
Around 1950, families began to move into the east end of Houston near Telephone Road, Almeda-Genoa Road and Mykawa Road. Some were already members of the Baptist Faith. They met in homes for bible study and prayer. There were about 30 people attending. They moved into Lepper Livestock Trucking Company Barn on Telephone Road. The fellowship was called “Mykawa Baptist Chapel.”
August 17th-24th, 1952. Captain C. R. Davis led a group of young people from First Baptist Church of South Houston to take a religious census.
October 9, 1952. A mission was established. Rev. H. J. Tullis, Pastor of First Baptist Church South Houston along with four of its members met with five members from Mykawa Baptist Chapel and Mr. Ross Dillion of Union Baptist Association. The mission was approved by the Church Expansion Committee of the Union Baptist Association. The newly established mission elected to dedicate 10% of all offerings to missions at the first meeting.
The following year, nearly 100 people were attending the mission. The need was to look for property for a larger meeting place.
March 5, 1953. Property was purchased from the Gordon Rowe estate for the sum of $3,000.00, to be used as a future building site.
Early spring 1954. A careful study was made of the mission building needs. Plans were drawn up to cover the study. Bids were taken and the building contract was awarded to C. R. Powitsky General Contractor, Pasadena, Texas, for the sum of $16,000.00.
March 24, 1954. The committee made a request to the Church Loan Association of the Baptist General Convention of Texas for the amount of $18,000.00. The loan was to be paid $209.84 per month for 10 years.
July 18, 1954. The completed mission building was dedicated with an appropriate ceremony of deep gratefulness to God for his wondrous grace.
December 5, 1956. The Mykawa Baptist Chapel petitioned the First Baptist Church of South Houston to set up an organization council for the purpose of approving them as a fully constituted Baptist Church.
December 12, 1956. During its regular monthly business meeting, First Baptist Church of South Houston approved the request and authorized the pastor Rev. H. J. Tullis to arrange an organization council meeting. The mission was led by Captain C. R. Davis, H. Sampson, T. W. Dennis, H. G. Holmes and D. D. Cash. On January 27, 1957, the First Baptist Church of South Houston called a presbytery to meet at Mykawa Chapel to assist in organizing the Mykawa Mission into Airway Baptist Church.
Over the years, the church membership grew. When Ellington Field closed many families moved with the military but God blessed Airway Baptist with new members.
During the 1980s while under the leadership of Rev. James Biles it was determined there was a need for Sunday School classrooms. A building committee reviewed plans to add an enlargement consisting of a nursery, kitchen, fellowship hall and classrooms. Bro. Leroy Gode and Jean Pool laid the bricks and Pastor Biles carried bricks to assist them.
When Bro. Hendricks Maxwell was Pastor, he led the church to raise funds to pay off the building debt and the church became debt-free.
Airway even had a “home-grown” pastor. Bro. Will Passmore accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior during a revival at Airway. He eventually married Paula Lester, grand-daughter of Bro. Maxwell. He ministered for 14 years until he was called to lead First Baptist Church, Rogers, Texas.
Airway Baptist then had several interim pastors while the Search Committee interviewed for another pastor. Bro. Gary Newman was called. Just over a year later Bro. Gary was called to an evangelistic ministry.
Later, Bro. Bill Gibbs, referred by Sagemont Church Mission Center became Interim Pastor. He and his son, Bick Gibbs led the church in a renovation project. The pulpit, choir and baptistry were changed from the east end of the sanctuary to the west end. The knotty pine paneling and hunter green color scheme were changed to neutral walls, blue carpeting, blue pews and new lighting fixtures.
In 2004 Rev. Edwin Earl Parker III was called as pastor. He and his wife Teri currently lead the Airway Baptist Church family.
It has been over 50 years and more than 1,300 people have been called to “Share God's Love by Touching Lives” through the fellowship of Airway Baptist Church. Although some have gone home to be with the Lord and others have moved elsewhere, we are all part of God's family. May God continue to bless the ministry of Airway Baptist Church.
Pastors of Airway Baptist Church
Bro. D. D. Cash
Bro. Bob Clogston
Bro. Velton Walker
Bro. Earnest Johnson
Bro. James Biles
Bro. Barney Lyons
Bro. Dave Holderman
Bro. Joseph Michaels
Bro. Henricks Maxwell
Bro. William Passmore
Bro. Gary Newman
Bro. Edwin Parker, III
“I found this community at a time in my life when I was really hurting. I walked in the doors, and felt like I had just come home!”
“I was welcomed with warmth and friendship. Thank you so so much for your warm hearts and all your help.”
“I have been going to this church my whole life and it is such a blessing to me! I am so blessed to be able to attend their meetings and be a part of the amazing things that God is doing.”