Houston’s Gospel Square: A Harmonious Future Rooted in Rich Third Ward Heritage

Francis Page Jr. | 4/9/2024, 9 a.m.
Houston's Third Ward is set to shine even brighter with the transformation of the historic Wesley AME Church into the …

Houston's Third Ward is set to shine even brighter with the transformation of the historic Wesley AME Church into the eagerly anticipated Gospel Square. Thanks to a substantial $4.1 million HUD grant, this corner of Houston will soon pulse with new life as a versatile community hub.

The visionary Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee spearheaded this innovative project, setting a national precedent. The funds are earmarked for an impressive ensemble of facilities including a gospel museum, a cutting-edge recording studio, a community center, and affordable housing. This initiative celebrates the district's gospel legacy, enriching not only Houston's cultural fabric but also the nation's diverse artistic landscape.


The project's kickoff was a jubilant affair, resonating with the voices of gospel greats like Donnie McClurkin and V. Michael McKay, and backed by influential supporters from Texas Southern University and local government. Gospel Square is poised to become a sanctuary for music, history, and community bonding.

St. Johns United Methodist Church marked the beginning of this remarkable journey, a fitting nod to Houston's deep gospel roots. Congresswoman Jackson Lee, alongside the community, envisions Gospel Square as a tribute to the unifying power of gospel music.

As the renovations begin, Houston eagerly anticipates Gospel Square's debut as more than just a location, but as a vibrant cultural epicenter echoing the deep, soulful tones of gospel tunes. This project not only preserves an essential slice of Houston's story but also kindles the flame of cultural renaissance for future generations.


The unveiling event was nothing short of spectacular, attended by gospel icons and civic leaders alike. Notable figures including Donnie McClurkin, Kim Burrell, Rhonda McLemore, and Yolanda Adams brought an inspiring presence. They, alongside civic notables like Rodney Ellis, Mayor Sylvester Turner, and State Senator Borris L. Miles, showcased the project's extensive influence and appeal.

The collaboration with Texas Southern University emphasizes the project’s commitment to education and cultural engagement. This union of revered artists and community members in celebration signifies not just the renovation of a structure but the rekindling of Houston's spirit and heritage.

Stay tuned to Houston Style Magazine as we continue to cover the evolution of Gospel Square, a testament to the city's enduring love affair with gospel music and community cohesion.

See more information on the BIG PICTURE at: www.houstontx.gov/housing/homes/third-ward.html