The Benjamin House has a time-honored history dating back more than one-hundred years!
Our building was formerly named Edison School District No.13 and served as a small schoolhouse for railroad workers in the early 1920’s. After that, it served as a Church for the local community before eventually being purchased by Racine Transitional Care in 1993 to serve as Racine County’s first non-smoking Alcoholics Anonymous meeting facility. Our current name “Benjamin House” was appropriately given to the building in honor and remembrance of the late Reverand Benjamin Cosey who was founder of the Community Baptist Church (1964-1992).
Below you may read a short biography of Reverend Benjamin Cosey, and you may also view some early photos of the property.
Reverend Benjamin Cosey
To his family and close friends, Reverend Benjamin Cosey was both a visionary and a dreamer.
During his lifetime, his philosophy consistently embraced: faith in God; importance of the family; and helping others or, as he was fond of expressing it, “being a friend to man.”
Born March 8, 1898, in Lake Providence, Louisiana, Benjamin Cosey was the fifth child in a family of 11 children, born to Joseph and Celia (nee: Furcey). Raised on a sharecropper’s farm, he was six years old when he worked with his family in the fields. “My family was rich,” Rev. Cosey once said, “We weren’t rich in material wealth, but we were rich in spiritual wealth.” At six years of age, he took up the self-appointed task of “leading old blind people through the woods.” Later in life Rev. Cosey would refer to his youthful “ministry” as “learning to do the Lord’s work”.
At 22 years of age, Rev. Cosey married Annebelle Alma Bassett in Rosedale, Mississippi. They were blessed with five daughters and four sons. Mrs. Cosey died in 1972, after 52 years of marriage to Rev. Cosey.
In, 1929, the Cosey family moved from Louisiana to Franksville, Wisconsin, where they joined Calvary Baptist Church in Milwaukee. Benjamin Cosey was a member of Calvary for 27 years, serving as trustee and deacon.
In 1957, one of Rev. Cosey’s dreams was finally realized – a church of his own! In April of 1957, Rev. Cosey was ordained into the ministry. That same year, at 59, Rev. Cosey began to pastor his own flock. It wasn’t until 1963, after 21 years as a laborer at A.O. Smith Corp., that Rev. Cosey was able to say he “got to preach full time.” He was 65 years old.
Rev. Cosey named his family-based church the Community Baptist Church. The church was first housed in a converted garage attached to the family home. In 1964, the church took up residence in a converted one-room schoolhouse (Edison#13), which was “home” for the church for 28 years. In 1992, six years after Rev. Cosey’s death, the family sold the church building to Racine Transitional Care, Inc. (RTC), and was appropriately named Benjamin House.
The family and friends of Rev. Cosey believe the conversion of his beloved Community Baptist Church into RTC/Benjamin House would please him very much. The support and rehabilitation of Alcoholics Anonymous members and their families would certainly be seen, in his eyes, as a meaningful way of helping others.
Because, in his own words, “When you’re helping suffering humanity, you’re helping God.