Houston Baptist Church and its adjoining cemetery were organized in 1886 under the leadership of Reverend Ulysses L. Houston, minister of First Bryan Baptist Church in Savannah. A significant religious and political leader in the African-American community, Houston attended the meeting at General Sherman's Savannah headquarters in January 1865 that resulted in Special Field Order No. 15 (the redistribution of confiscated coastal land in forty-acre tracts to newly freed blacks.) Houston also served a term in Georgia's Reconstruction legislature. Established in the tradition of earlier plantation praise houses intended to Christianize the enslaved populations of rural plantations, Houston Baptist Church served the African-Americans of Rice Hope Plantation. Houston Baptist Church continued to serve the local community until the 1970's.
The original structure collapsed in 2007 after a terrible storm in Port Wentworth. Today, the property is owned by the City of Port Wentworth. The City, local community organizations and citizens are in the process of rebuilding the structure into a heritage museum honoring the rich history of the area.