People who inspired the creation of CMCH
Reverend William Lawson, Pastor Emeritus Wheeler Ave. Baptist Church
Founder of the Wheeler Ave. Baptist Church, he counseled and encouraged Ron Scales to form the CMCH. His church also provided initial funding for the nascent organization in 1979 and in the 1980's. CMCH groups, such as the Scott Joplin Chamber Orchestra, have performed for the church at services, special Black History month concerts and even at Wheeler Ave Baptist Church Anniversary Events.
(The Late) Mrs. Audrey H. Lawson
Mrs. Lawson, the wife of Reverend Lawson passed away in December 2015. She was beloved by the entire Houston community. She was instrumental in encouraging Ron Scales, one of the founders of CMCH, in the early days of the center. Ron relates his earliest memory of Mrs. Lawson. “My first memory was when I joined the church volley ball team in the 1970’s. She said 'you are new and my name is Audrey Lawson and I would like to welcome you to my team'. She was not pompous and only later did I discover she was the wife of the minister. Impressed by her humbleness and sincerity, I decided to join the church. A few years later, after just having started CMCH, I called her for advice since I did not know how to operate a non-profit. I called her many times, often at inconvenient times, asking for help; yet, she would always make time to listen to my tales of woe and give me both encouragement and practical advice. She always told me to ‘just keep on and it will turn out okay’. The Music Center would have folded without her support.”
CMCH Legacy Contributors
Patricia Johnson Co-founder
Co-founded with Ron Scales the original organization, Society for the Preservation of Spirituals. It was thanks to Ms. Johnson's forward thinking vision of a more expansive role in preserving and performing all black music traditions which led to the re-naming of the organization to the Community Music Center of Houston.