History of St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church


1927 - The great flood drove many blacks from Louisiana and they settled in Barrett Settlement where they began to raise their families.

1931 - Father Carl Schappert, SSJ, the Pastor of St. Nicholas Church in Houston, remarked on the presence of many Catholics in Barrett Settlement who suffered social and racial discrimination at Sacred Heart Church in Crosby.

1934 - Father Schappert and his assistant began saying mass in Barrett Station in the home of Samuel Goudeau on Saturday or Sunday, as was convenient.

1936 - Father Schappert began searching for land to build a church. He procured approximately one acre of land from the Barrett family. On February 29, 1936 the site for a church was approved by Bishop Byrne.

1938 - A donation from Father Pastorelli allowed a set of plans for a church to be drawn up for a 30’ x 80’ church. Father Schappert hired a builder to supervise local volunteers in building the church. On January 29, 1938, Bishop Byrne dedicated the church to Blessed Martin de Porres.

1944 - In November of 1944, Father John Wilson, SSJ was instructed to prepare the congregation to become a parish of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.

1945 - Father Wilson was appointed pastor of the church in Barrett Settlement with his first task being to build a small rectory made possible from a donation from the Josephite Society.

1949 - Father Charles Hanks, SSJ was pastor of Blessed Martin de Porres Church and had a 30’ x 60’ parish hall built for C.C.D. classes and social events.

1954 - A 28’ x 96’ building consisting of three classrooms was constructed. The building was dedicated on November 21, 1954.

1958 - In 1958, while Father John Hardman was pastor, the church building was extended by 30’ to accommodate the growing church population.

• 1962 - Blessed Martin de Porres was canonized and the church was renamed St. Martin de Porres.

• 1963 - Under Father Donald Butler, SSJ, 2 1/2 acres of land was purchased.

1964 - An additional 5 acres of land was purchased for burial use. In addition the rectory was enlarged 23’ x 15’.

• 1967 - The church was air conditioned.

• 1986-87 - Construction of a new church began under the direction of Father Donald Fest, SSJ

1987 - Steve Arceneaux was ordained as the church’s first Deacon.

• 1988 - On Pentecost Saturday, May 28, 1988, the first mass in the new church was held.

• 1990 - Bell tower installed in honor of Ernest Duffy.

• 1993 - St. Martin de Porres is first U.S. parish to receive a Missionary of St. Paul priest; Father Afangide.

• 1996 - 2013- Fr. Uko, Fr. Ekanem, Fr. Enelichi, and Fr. Umouyo.

• 2013 - Martin Lemond is ordained the second deacon to serve at St. Martin de Porres Church.

• 2019 - Father Anthony Mbanefo becomes the pastor of St. Martin de Porres Church.