TSU lauds a legend: Rev. William D. Lawson


Texas Southern University establishes endowment, names street in honor of community, spiritual and civil rights icon

(Houston) February 25, 2022 – As part of its Black History Month celebration, Texas Southern University honored the life and legacy of Reverend William D. Lawson, a community trailblazer who helped transform TSU, the Third Ward, and countless lives as founding pastor of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church.

He and his family – including daughters Melanie, Roxanne and Cheryl – as well as the church he founded, were celebrated during TSU’s first-ever Black History Month Convocation and tribute luncheon. While Rev. Lawson was unable to attend, he did watch the livestream from his home.

“We have the privilege of honoring one of our own, who is truly a pillar of the community,” said Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, TSU President. “He is a living example of Black excellence. He is someone who, as our history book says, was ‘born to serve.'”

During the Convocation, the world-renowned TSU Debate Team gave an impressive performance highlighting the civil rights movement and Rev. Lawson’s role in guiding Houston and TSU through the period of desegregation. At the tribute luncheon, the university announced the establishment of the William A. Lawson Leadership Institute endowed scholarship, initially set at $100,000, as well as the naming of “Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church Way” along the Tiger Walk. The street sign will be placed in the vicinity the H&PE Arena, which is now located where the Lawson family lived in the 1950s and 60s.

Albert Myres, Chair of the TSU Board of Regents, was instrumental in making the event a reality.

“It is so important that this university, at this time, for the right reason, honor Rev. Lawson today,” said Myres. “I wanted this event to happen as fast as it could. We needed to do this now. We have to honor those while we can, while they can appreciate it and taste it.”

The Convocation also included musical performances by the TSU Concert Chorale and University Band, and special remarks from each of the Lawson daughters. They recalled memories of growing up in the midst of TSU – and how the life and growth of the church was closely intertwined with that of the university.

“This is the university where he planted his church, his family and his community,” said Cheryl Lawson. Added Melanie, “Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church and TSU have been neighbors and allies for almost 60 years.”

“Daddy established a neighborly and harmonious relationship with TSU,” said Roxanne. “He went out of his way to meet, greet and keep good rapport with every TSU president since 1955.”

Lawson served as the director of the Baptist Student Union and was a professor of Bible at Texas Southern University from 1960-70, during which he also founded Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church. He also became a civil rights leader and befriended Martin Luther King Jr, who would stay with the Lawsons during visits to Houston.

At the tribute luncheon, President Crumpton-Young bestowed the President’s Award for People Who Mean Business to Rev. Lawson.

“It is a coveted award,” said Dr. Crumpton-Young. “We don’t give very many out, so we are very excited to present it today. I can think of no one more deserving of this honor than Rev. Lawson.”

Latest Articles


Search our archive of past issues Receive our Latest Updates
* indicates required

October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit www.edwardsforhouston.com

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

Scroll to Top