Wendell P. Dabney      

Guide to African American Resources
at the Cincinnati History Library and Archives




Subject Categories



Cincinnati History
Library and Archives

Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal










Rev. L. Venchael Booth

Lavaughn Venchael Booth was born in Collins, Mississippi, January 7, 1919. In 1936 he graduated from Old Hopewell High School.That same year he preached his first sermon and became the fourth generation preacher in his family.

Booth attended Alcorn A&M College where he received his bachelor's degree in 1940. He also attended Gammon Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia, and Howard University in Washington, D.C. He graduated in 1943 from the Howard University School of Religion with honors and as president of his class. In 1944 Booth was installed as the minister of a Baptist church in Gary, Indiana, where he served for eight years.

  Rev. L. Venchael Booth
Rev. L. Venchael Booth
Photo courtesy of Paul M. Booth
On July 19, 1952, Rev. Booth accepted a call to Zion Baptist Church in Cincinnati. He headed a great renovation and addition to the church building. Then, a few years later, the city informed Rev. Booth that Zion would have to relocate due to an urban renewal project. Rev. Booth moved the Zion congregation to a new building in Avondale in 1961.
Rev. Booth has served the local community in many ways. He has worked with the Mayor's Friendly Relations Committee, the NAACP, the Protestant Scout Committee, and the YMCA. He has participated on Dialogue, a local television program on WKRC-TV produced by the National Council of Christians and Jews. From 1968 to 1989, Rev. Booth was a member of the Board of Directors of the University of Cincinnati, the first African American person on that board. In 1963 he chaired the political campaign of Theodore M. Berry. He was also instrumental in the 1965 election of William N. Lovelace as municipal court judge.
He has also been active nationally and internationally. He founded the Progressive National Baptist Convention in 1961, a "first" for African American Baptists on the national level. Booth has held several positions within the American Bible Society, including Special Secretary in the Department of Church Relations. Fittingly, Rev. Booth has been honored with several honorary degrees and numerous awards.
Rev. Booth resigned as pastor of Zion Baptist Church in May 1984, after serving the congregation for 31 years, and became pastor of the newly formed Olivet Baptist Church. In 1990, he helped found the Marva Collins Preparatory School, which began by operating out of the basement of Olivet Baptist Church.
Rev. Booth died on November 16, 2002 at the age of 83.

To learn more about Rev. L. Venchael Booth, consult the following resources:

One Hundred and Twenty-Two Years of Service: 1842-1964
Pamphlets f286 Z79
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, spoke at Zion Baptist Church in 1964 as part of the 122nd anniversary celebration. His visit is noted here, among numerous photographs of the church, church groups and the Booth family.   View catalog record   Request slip
Grand Opening and Dedication of the New Zion Baptist Church, June 25 through July 7, 1961: Zion through the Years
Pamphlets f286 Z79d
In addition to contiuning the program for the dedication of the new church on Glenwood Avenue in 1961, this item includes a history of the church and biographical information about Rev. Booth.   View catalog record   Request slip
Testimonial Banquet Honoring the Reverend L. Venchael Booth: Friday, October 10, 1969
Pamphlets fB B725t
A detailed biographical sketch of Rev. Booth can be found here as well as several hymns written by him.   View catalog record   Request slip
Silver Anniversary, 1952-1977: Dr. L. Venchael Booth
Pamphlets fB B725v
This booklet recounts the many accomplishments of Rev. Booth during his first 25 years at Zion Baptist Church..   View catalog record   Request slip
Thirty-One Years of Ministry, 1952-1983
By L. Venchael Booth
Pamphlets f286.17714 B725
This stewardship report was presented Rev. Booth to the congregation at a quarterly church meeting on April 11, 1984. It answers questions presented to the pastor about the church's membership, finances, leadership and housing ministry.   View catalog record   Request slip
Adeline Harris Collection
Mss 1 AT, Interview 5
In addition to discussing his family and educational background in this oral interview, Rev. Venchael Booth details the planning and development of an African American owned state bank in Lockland, Ohio. He also describes some of the activities of his Zion Baptist Church.   Request slip
The Miracle of Olivet
Pamphlets f286.17714 O48
This item commemorates the 1984 dedication of the Olivet Baptist Church on Montgomery Road. It includes a brief statement by Rev. Booth about his resignation from Zion Baptist Church and his call to Olivet.
View catalog record   Request slip

Sources Used for Biographical Sketch:
  • Zion through the Years. Pamphlets f286 Z79d, Cincinnati History Library and Archives, Cincinnati Museum Center.
  • Silver Anniversary, 1952-1977: Dr. L. Venchael Booth. General B B725v, Cincinnati History Library and Archives, Cincinnati Museum Center.
  • Miracle of Olivet. General B B725v, Cincinnati History Library and Archives, Cincinnati Museum Center.
  • "His Mission Helped Weave the Fabric of Community," Cincinnati Enquirer, November 18, 2002, pages A1 and A9.


Cincinnati History Library and Archives
Mailing address: 250 W. Court Street, Suite 300 East, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Email: library@cincymuseum.org
Copyright © 2004-2018 Cincinnati Museum Center.
All Rights Reserved.
Images not to be reproduced without written authorization.
This online guide opened on February 10, 2004.