Wayside Church of God in Christ – Beckham

Set into the side of a hill, Wayside Church of God in Christ is the last surviving remnant of Trezevant Hill, an African American community on Fort Worth’s South Side, just east of the Mistletoe Heights neighborhood. The congregation of the church began in 1912 as Trezevant Hill Church of God in Christ. In 1930, Reverend R.E. Ranger (1899-1992) was appointed minister. Reverend Ranger designed the present Gothic Revival style church building with a cruciform plan and bell tower over the south entrance. The building, constructed of a light yellow chipped brick, is among a very small number of buildings constructed in Fort Worth during World War II that was not defense-related. A fellowship hall is located in the basement. The building was dedicated in 1945 and the congregation was renamed Wayside Church of God in Christ. Ranger was appointed Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ (Southeast) in 1956 and was the first African American bishop in Fort Worth. He was a pioneer in radio and television ministry with broadcasts conducted from the church on WBAP Radio. Bishop Ranger had an international audience that was estimated to reach six million people at its peak. During an era of segregation, it was not unusual for blacks and whites to worship together at this church. Although still owned by trustees of the church, this historic building is currently vacant and located in the midst of an ever-expanding medical district. It was designated as Highly Significant Endangered in 2004 by the City of Fort Worth and placed on Preservation Texas’ Most Endangered list in 2005. It is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places for its association with Fort Worth’s African American community and Bishop Ranger and for its architectural style.

Leave a Comment