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
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
Rev. Booth died on November 16, 2002 at the age of 83.
To learn more about Rev. L. Venchael Booth, consult the
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 recordRequest slip
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 recordRequest slip
Banquet Honoring the Reverend L. Venchael Booth: Friday, October 10,
Pamphlets fB B725t
A detailed biographical sketch of Rev. Booth can be found here as
well as several hymns written by him. View catalog recordRequest slip
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 recordRequest slip
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 recordRequest slip
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
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
Sources Used for Biographical Sketch:
Zion through the Years. Pamphlets f286
Z79d, Cincinnati History Library and Archives, Cincinnati Museum
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.