March 24, 1891
1.5 in HIGH x 3 in WIDE
(3.81 cm HIGH x 7.62 cm WIDE)
Gift from the Estate of Ann May Powell

Ticket for a grand collation sponsored by the gentlemen of the Beth Eden Baptist Church at 759 Seventh Street for Tuesday Evening March 24, 1891 admission, 25 cents. (D. Cooper, 5/2002 From the Oakland Heritage Alliance News, Winter-Spring, 1990) Beth Eden Baptist Church, by William Sturm Now celebrating its 100th anniversary, the Beth Eden Baptist Church is Oakland's oldest black Baptist church and the city's second oldest black church, after First African Methodist Episcopal Church founded in 1858. Beth Eden traces its origin to a small prayer group, which began meeting in a house on 7th Street near Brush in 1889. The following year, with 14 members, the congregation was accepted into the Central Baptist Association, and in 1893 bought a house on the south side of 6th Street between Harrison and Alice, which was converted into a chapel and parsonage. Beth Eden's first pastor, Rev. R. A. McGuinn, became known as a strong defender of civil rights. On his departure in 1894, the Oakland Enquirer observed that he was "always ready to take up his pen in defense of any attack on the colored people of the state or country." His successor, the Rev. James L. Allen from El Paso, Texas, was also a vocal civil rights activist. His church grew, acquiring social and political strength in the city's black community, and by 1901, with over 100 members, the congregation had purchased a church building on the west side of Filbert between 7th and 8th Streets, which had belonged to the Swedish Mission Congregational Church. This sanctuary served Beth Eden until 1925 when a site was purchased for a new church at 10th and Magnolia. In 1982, a new church was built next to the old. With a membership of over 2000 under the pastorship of Rev. Dr. Gillette O. James, Beth Eden has grown and prospered with the changing times. The spirit of the church finds poetic expression in the words of Rev. J. P. Hubbard, once pastor of Beth Eden: Lord, give me comfort with each setting sun, That with a willing heart and soulful zest, However hard, I've left no task undone, Let twilight witness, "I have done my best."
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