Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church
Sweet Home Missionary Baptist ChurchSweet Home Missionary Baptist Church
1725 W 11th Street
Austin, Texas 78703
The historic Black neighborhood neighborhood of Clarksville was settled in 1871 when Charles Clark, a freedman, bought two acres of land on present-day Tenth Street. This formed the nucleus of the community that Clark, according to tradition, wanted to start for his people. For years Clarksville lay in a wilderness on the outskirts of Austin, crossed only by a few country roads. Gradually it grew into a closely knit village, with activities centering on the Sweet Home Baptist Church. At first members met in the home of Mrs. Mary Smith. Then, in 1882, they purchased this site. Religious fervor was strong in those days, and the residents often stood on their porches at dawn to begin the day with a hymn. The first church building was erected in the 1880s; present (fourth) one in 1935. One of the first ministers of Sweet Home, The Rev. Jacob Fontaine, was instrumental in unifying Negro Baptist churches in Austin and started the first Negro newspaper, "The Gold Dollar," in the city.