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Thomas Harvey (T. H.) Houston Papers

Identifier: MSS-4145

Scope and Contents

The collection contains the papers and photographs from the estate of Thomas Harvey (T. H.) Houston, a Methodist clergyman who served churches in Montgomery, Gadsden, Birmingham, and Huntsville, Alabama, Pensacola, Florida, and a number of other churches.

In the folder of photographs of Rev. T.H. Houston there is a sheet identifying Rev. Houston in each photo as there is nothing on the photos to identify him.

Among the photographs are pictures and postcards of the Gulfside Methodist Assembly in Waveland, Mississippi. Gulfside is a retreat originally founded to provide spiritual, educational, and recreational facilities to African Americans who, because of segregation, were denied access elsewhere. Robert Elijah Jones, the first African American bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, was speaking at a white Methodist campground in Ohio when he came up with the idea to establish a similar place for African Americans. Waveland, Mississippi, was settled on as centrally located on the Gulf Coast, Bishop Jones purchased land there in April 1923, and after some renovation of the one existing structure and building of new ones, Gulfside was opened. In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina completely destroyed Gulfside, leaving only the historical marker and a small burial ground where Bishop Jones and a few others are buried. Since 2006, Gulfside has functioned less as a retreat and more of a command center for the reconstruction of the area. Houses have also been built on the site.


  • after 1900


Conditions Governing Access


Conditions Governing Use

The use of this material is restricted. Please see a staff member for further information.

Biographical / Historical

Thomas Harvey (T. H.) Houston, son of J. L. and Ella Terrell Houston, was born in Randolph County, Alabama, on November 6, 1895. He married Louise Wattleton in 1927 and began his in 1929 at Rising Star Methodist Church at Hobson City, Alabama. He was ordained Deacon on November 2, 1930, and then as Elder in December of 1932 (Bishops F. T. Keenny and M. W. Clair, respectively). He served as pastor of serval churches across Alabama, including: Saint Paul Church in Montgomery; Sweet Home in Gadsden; Brownsville in Birmingham; and Lakeside in Huntsville. He died at home in Tuskegee, Alabama, on February 6, 1967.


0.2 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Collection of photographs and papers of this Alabama Methodist clergyman


gift of Wylheme Ragland, 2015

Processed by

Martha Bace, 2015
Guide to the Thomas Harvey (T. H.) Houston Papers
August 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266