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546Southwestern Historical (QuarterlyApril Storm over the Bay: The People of Corpus Christi and Their Port. By Mary Jo O'Rear. (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2009. Pp. 200. Illustrations, maps, notes, bibliography, index. ISBN 9781603440882, $24.95 cloth.) Influenced by the example of Houston obtaining federal aid in the early twentieth century to improve a ship channel, the leaders of Corpus Christi dreamed of the same improvement to their bay in order to construct a deep water port. However , political crosscurrents among local leaders RobertJ. Kleberg, Walter Francis Timon, Roy Miller, Archie Parr, Walter Pope, and Gordon Boone complicated efforts. It took a devastating hurricane to bring them all together for the common good of the city. Corpus Christians widi a shield of barrier islands, bay, and high bluff thought themselves invulnerable to hurricane assault, but in 1919 a direct hit washed away the lower portions of the town and killed some 500 people. Faced with rebuilding the town, city and county leaders cooperated to obtain a local bond issue to construct a protective breakwater and to support a navigation district. They persuaded the United States Corps of Engineers to dredge a turning basin and a twenty-five-foot-deep ship channel through the bay to the Gulf of Mexico. It was a good example of collaboration between local and federal governments to provide regional economic infrastructure. The port opened in 1926 and at that point this account ends. MaryJo O'Rear, a former teacher in the Corpus Christi Independent School District and an adjunct professor at Del Mar College, tells the tale well. She writes with grace, drama, and humor. The politics are complicated, but she sorts out the various threads, and her description of the hurricane is the best that has been written. This is not a detailed urban biography. Early history is only sketched, and there is but partial information about changes in architecture, urban planning, professions, education, business, religion, tourism, and recreation in this short book. Her focus is upon politics and the effect of the storm. The hurricane and resultant construction of the breakwater and port, however, represent the pivotal events in the history ofCorpus Christi. She thus adds to earlier academic contributions about Corpus Christi history by Dan E. Kilgore and Alan Lessoff. Obviously, there is much more to be explored about this city of the Coastal Bend; perhaps, O'Rear will continue her good work. Colorado State UniversityDavid G. McComb The Fight Is On in Texas: A History ofAfrican American Churches of Christ in the Lone Star State, 1865-2000. By Edward J. Robinson. (Abilene: Abilene Christian University Press, 2008. Pp. 222. Photographs, notes, bibliography, index. ISBN 9780891 125327, $19.95 cloth.) The Fight Is On in Texas marks the fifth book by Edward J. Robinson on the African-American Churches of Christ, and this latest is the first history of the denomination in the Lone Star State. Covering the end of slavery to dawn of the twenty-first century, this endeavor is remarkable since the African-American 2Oi o Book Reviews547 Churches of Christ have never had a headquarters or archive at the national or state level, individual churches have kept few records, and a complete run of the denomination's paper, the Christian Echo, does not exist. Instead Robinson relies primarily upon existing Church of Christ newspapers, the writings ofleading ministers , and individual church histories. The book is organized into four parts. The first section surveys the founding of the Black Church of Christ in Texas and the ministers who labored to establish its many churches across the state. The second and third sections examine the work and legacy of two key ministers, Marshall Keeble and G. P. Bowser, respectively. The final section looks at the rise of die denomination's educational institutions over the course of the twentieth century. Robinson is at his best detailing the central importance of the dynamic ministers who successfully built the African-American Churches of Christ in Texas. Given the decentralized nature of the denomination it was up to clergymen like Keeble, Bowser, R. N. Hogan, andJack Evans working at the local level to grow the membership, establish new churches, clarify doctrine, cultivate religious schools...


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