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Houston and Cora Bowman Papers

Identifier: harsh-2009-03

Scope and Contents

This collection partially documents the history of Trinity United Church of Christ from 1962 to 1998. Of special note is the church’s 1962 constitution and proposed changes. The majority of this collection consists of photocopies of original manuscripts held by Houston and Cora Bowman.


  • Creation: circa 1961-2008

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions

Conditions Governing Use

Please consult staff to determine ability to reuse materials from collection

Biographical / Historical

Houston and Cora Bowman were both born in the southern United States and moved to Chicago during the period known as the Great Migration. Both were active members of Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ.

Trinity United Church of Christ was founded in December 1961 with a membership of twelve Black families. The church followed the beliefs of the United Church of Christ Congregation with a strong commitment to justice and equality. Members fundraised to build their first church at 532 W. 95th Street in 1966. In the 1970s, Trinity United Church of Christ adopted the motto “Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian.” Membership skyrocketed between the 1970s and 1990s, creating the need for a larger meeting space. In December 1994, the congregation moved to a new worship center at 400 W. 95th Street. Houston Bowman passed away on August 16, 1995. Cora Davis Bowman died in 2002.


  •, Houston Bowman (1913-1995)
  • The History of Trinity United Church,


0.5 Linear Feet (in 1 box)

Language of Materials



Houston and Cora Bowman were founding members of Trinity United Church of Christ, a large and influential church on Chicago’s South Side. Their papers include the early history of Trinity, church newsletters, event programs and organizational records.


Alphabetical by folder title

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Mark Bowman in August 2009

Related Materials

Related collections at the Chicago Public Library include:

  • Developing Community Projects (DCP) Archive
  • Adlean Harris Papers

Guide to the Houston and Cora Bowman Papers
Elizabeth Loch, Archival Specialist
October 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection Repository

Woodson Regional Library
Chicago Public Library
9525 S. Halsted Street
Chicago IL 60628 United States
(312) 745-2080