The Bethel Church Park is an open-to-the-air structure.

Bethel Church Park

Charming park born from historic ruins

Project Facts

Location Houston, Texas
Owner City of Houston


From the antique remains of Bethel Baptist Church, a captivating park was crafted, tucked in a serene Houston neighborhood. Visitors can rest on pew-inspired benches and relish the enchantment of an open-air structure enveloped by radiant stained glass, tranquil fountains, and ornate gates.

The historic Bethel Church has tall stained glass windows.

View of the restored facade of Bethel Church Park at dusk.

The Bethel Church is lit in the evening with the sidewalk in view.

View of Bethel Park from the side showing Houston downtown in the background and the exposed steel forming the old roof line.

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About the project

Bethel Missionary Baptist Church was founded in the late nineteenth century in a post-Civil War Houston neighborhood established by formerly enslaved people. After the first church buildings were destroyed, a single-floor structure was erected in 1923. In 2005, a fire left only the exterior masonry walls in place. The facility was abandoned until 2009, when the city purchased the property to convert it into a community park. Before work could be performed, Walter P Moore designed emergency shoring and installed bracing within 24 hours to protect the public and the structure. The existing walls had to be strengthened to withstand hurricane wind speeds required by the city’s building code. Walter P Moore helped restore the heavily damaged, unreinforced walls by designing strengthening techniques that contributed to the overall aesthetic when applied to the exposed masonry.