History-Making African American Eulogized In A Church That Turned Her Away 82 Years Ago

History-Making African American Eulogized In A Church That Turned Her Away 82 Years Ago


When Beatrice Lehman arrived in Houston in 1939, one of the first things she did was look for a church for Sunday worship.

A third-generation Lutheran, Lehman had moved to Houston when she was 26 to live near family and look for work. When she arrived, she found out her family was attending a Baptist church. She didn’t know anything about Baptists, she said. She was a Lutheran.

So she and her aunt, Erma Johnson Green, wearing their Sunday best, went to Trinity Lutheran Church, a towering Gothic Revival historic church downtown, on a Sunday morning 82 years ago. When the two women arrived at the front door, the ushers acted surprised to see them, telling them, “This is a Lutheran church.”

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“We are Lutheran,”

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