Baptist Student Center


1715 Avenue J
Map | ID#: NA









The Baptist Student Center (or Union [BSU] or Ministry [BSM]) is an organization-owned structure located along Avenue J in the north-central part of campus.

The 1962 Alcalde notes the building was built in 1955 at a cost of $50,000. It is "constructed of native stone and brick with large areas of glass" making it "an attractive modern building. Inside [are] a carpeted lounge, spacious recreation room, classroom, prayer room, and offices.... [1]"

The Houstonian reported in January 2012 that the university had expressed an interest in purchasing the property for Lowman Student Center expansion plans; the university later clarified they would not take the land via eminent domain [2]. In November 2012 the organization announced that because of various structural and mechanical issues that the current building would be demolished and replaced with a new larger structure on the site [3].


Baptist Student Center

Fifteen years (or so) before the Baptist and Church of Christ student centers were constructed, the northern stretch of Avenue J was still lined with houses.

Baptist Student Center

This aerial photograph from the mid-to-late 1970s shows the western side of the BSU. A parcel of its backyard would be paved over for parking by the next decade.

Baptist Student Center

This aerial photograph from the mid-to-late 1970s shows the eastern side of the BSU. We're not sure but it appears as if there is something standing between Kirkley Hall and the back yard of the BSU. Any truth to this? (This is the best resolution of this image we have - sorry.)

Baptist Student Center

Another aerial photograph, this one from 1985, showing the paved over parking space behind the BSU.

Baptist Student Center

A view from the Peabody Library of the BSU.

Baptist Student Center

Letters stored out front the BSM building can be transported to the mall area, stadium, or elsewhere for self-promotion.

Baptist Student Center

The rear entrance of the Baptist Student Center and the small strip of asphalt dedicated to the Baptists.

Baptist Student Center

Signage out front the building has identified the building for over fifty years.

Baptist Student Center

While the bumpy, disjointed parking lot north of Smith-Kirkley has mostly been taken over by the parking garage, there are still a few spots of surface parking available...for the Baptists.

Baptist Student Center

A view from the parking garage shows the new signage attached to the building's eastern wall.

Baptist Student Center

With the demolition of Smith-Kirkley the BSU suddenly gains new views to the south.



[1] Alcalde, 1962
[2] University offers to purchase BSM [Jan. 24, 2012]
[3] Plans Set For Baptist Student Ministry Renovation [Nov.6, 2012]

About the site

The Buildings of Sam Houston State University website documents the physical changes of the SHSU campus in Huntsville from its inception in 1879 through tomorrow. The alumnus-run site details changes to the academic, residential, and historical buildings and other prominent landmarks.