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Newsletter 2022-09-15: Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Bombing

On the 59th anniversary let us not forget! The Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Bombing took place on September 15, 1963. Four young girls, Denise McNair, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson, and Addie Mae Collins, were killed in the racially motivated attack by the Ku Klux Klan against an African American church active in the ongoing civil rights campaign in Birmingham, Alabama.

The attack was meant to disrupt black community activists who had been demonstrating for weeks for an end to segregation in the city. It had the opposite effect. Because the four young girls killed were on their way to a basement assembly hall for closing prayers on a Sunday morning, the national public’s anger and revulsion at the slaughter of children at a place of worship helped build support in the John Kennedy administration for civil rights legislation. Twenty-two others were injured, many of them children that had been in the same group as the girls.

Sixteenth Street Baptist Church had been a rallying point for civil rights activists throughout the spring and summer leading up to the bombing. The activists had finally reached an agreement with local authorities to begin integrating schools which in turn outraged segregationists and caused the attack. Four men, who were members of the United Klans of America, went to the church and planted 19 sticks of dynamite outside the basement behind the building.

The explosion which occurred around 10:20 that Sunday morning destroyed the rear end of the building. The steps going outside were destroyed as were all but one of the church's stained glass windows. Even the windows of the laundromat across the street were blown out and many cars outside damaged or destroyed.

The public funeral for three of the girls attracted over eight thousand people but not one city or state official attended. The Birmingham Post-Herald reported a month later that in the aftermath of the bombing no one had been arrested for the incident itself but 23 African Americans had been arrested for charges ranging from disorderly conduct, to “being drunk and loitering” mostly in the vicinity of the church. One black youth was gunned down by police after he threw rocks at passing cars with white passengers.

The four men responsible for the murders were not charged until 45 years later. Two of them, Bobby Frank Cherry and Thomas Blanton are spending the last of their lives in prison, one, Robert Chambliss, already died in prison, and the fourth, Herman Cash, died in the mid-1990s before charges could be brought against him.




  • Sunday Worship at 10 AM (map)

    • In-person at Houston Mennonite Church

    • Off-site Connectivity (meeting ID: 910 835 693 )

      • Zoom Online Video Meeting, or

      • Zoom Dial-in: 346-248-7799

  • Sunday Second Hour around 11 AM

    • 09/18/22

      • Classes for all ages

      • Adults

        • Topic: Transitions Conversation: Cameras and Recording During Worship

        • Location: Sanctuary

  • Thursday Zoom Hangout from 7-9 PM


  • Saturday, Sept. 17 (date change)

    • Games Night & Snackluck from 6-9 PM at HMC

      • Bring your favorite games and something yummy to share (and a friend or two) for a fun-filled evening!

  • Sunday, Sept. 18

    • Peace Sunday

      • Theme: “End Racism, Build Peace”

      • International Day of Peace is Sept. 21

    • HMC TransParent Closet Reboot after Second Hour

      • "Let’s meet after the service to plan for a reboot to provide services for the Boutique and support of the LGBTQ+ community. Come with your ideas to help with the success." (from Pastor LaTayna)

  • Monday, Sept. 19

    • Church Council meeting at 7 PM on Zoom

  • Saturday, Sept. 24

    • Drag Bingo at FCC Katy

      • All Ages Show, 5–7 PM

      • Adults Only Show, 8:30–10:30 PM

      • Join for a fun-filled evening of bingo hosted by Drag Queen Kiki Dion Van Whales.

      • Pastor LaTayna: "As most of you are aware, HMC has been partnering with FCC-Katy to support the Transparent Closet Boutique and LGBTQ+ community. FCC-Katy is hosting a Drag Bingo Night on September 24. As word has spread about the event, they have been receiving an overwhelming number of direct threats and hate on social media. Please offer your support and encouragement on their Facebook page. If you’re in the area, please come support the event in person!"

  • Sunday, Oct. 2

    • Potluck Sunday at HMC

  • Sunday, Oct. 30

    • "Thanksgiving Meal in a Bag" Collection Begins for East Spring Branch Food Pantry


Resources to love yourself and your church family


Resources to help you grow as a follower of Jesus

Peace joined with prayer, by Addie Banks

This post is in celebration of Peace Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022.

"Peace, like prayer, is not something to be engaged in intermittently. To be most effective, these two need to be joined together to form the ground of our being, the foundation of our lives and the key ingredient that enables us to live into Jesus’ commandment to love one another. Perhaps, it is through this practice of pairing peace with prayer that we will live into the fruition of Jesus’ greatest prayer — that we “may be one” (see John 17:21)..." Continue reading here.


Volunteers are needed this fall in McAllen, TX; Jennings, LA; Paradise, CA; Hindman, KY; Crisfield, MD; Monte Lake, BC; etc. Those who would like any additional information can call 1-800-241-8111 or email You can also learn more on the MDS website here.

Region 3 Annual Meeting

Date/Time: Friday, September 16, 2022 @ 5:00pm and Saturday, September 17, 2022 until 2:00pm

Location: Meeting in a hybrid fashion

  • Mountain View Mennonite Church, Kalispell, Montana 59901

  • Zoom meeting at

By MC USA staff with input from John Roth

Work has officially begun on the first ever Anabaptist Bible to be published by MennoMedia in time for the 500th anniversary of Anabaptism in 2025. “This project is an invitation for the Anabaptist churches to gather and listen to and through the Incarnate Word – Jesus,” said Sue Park-Hur, Mennonite Church USA’s director of racial/ethnic engagement, who participated in the conference. “I’m excited that the leaders of this project are committed to the challenging work of including diverse voices of Anabaptist groups.”

Learn how you can be involved in Anabaptism at 500 (many opportunities available), visit


Offering / Giving

Mail Checks to our building at :

Houston Mennonite Church Attn: Treasurer 1231 Wirt Road Houston, TX 77055-6852


Houston Mennonite Staff

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