Debate over historical significance may have come too late for this old house

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Lots of time and money have been spent to save Zion hill Baptist Church, the first black church in Nacogdoches. However, a home right next door is scheduled for demolition. Some aren't happy with the plans. The house on Bois d' arc Street is owned by the city. The city wants to tear it down to make room for new grave sites in the adjacent Oak Grove Cemetery. The decision came after several hearings with no opposition.

The African American Heritage Program learned about the meetings too late. Members are now trying to save the structure that was once the Zion Hill pastor's home.  "I want it to be stopped," said Linda Reynolds, a member and researcher for the African American Heritage Program. She's concerned demolition won't stop there.  "Where does it end with district? This whole district is not in good shape and so if they tear the whole district down, doest that mean the black community is now gone? They have no history there," pointed out Reynolds.

Brian Bray, Nacogdoches Historic site manager explained, "The reason we determined that it was not significant as far as architecturally was mainly because of the vast changes that have happened. This part right here used to be a sleeping porch, it's been enclosed. There was originally a porch on east facade which is now gone. " Bray says extensive research clearly tells him the home has no significance to the Zion Hill Historic District. He said the home wasn't a parsonage. The pastor merely rented the house. Bray said, " Everyone has to live somewhere." No date for demolition is set.