NIGTON COMMUNITY, TX (KTRE) – There was a very special service of celebration Sunday. In Trinity County, the Ligon Chapel CME Church celebrated its 140th anniversary.
Words cannot explain how much this church means to its oldest member. "This church, it means so much to me," said Ida Guice.
The church was formed 140 years ago. Guice has been a member for sixty of those years. To her, this is home.
"It makes me feel good all over when I turn up in this church yard on Sunday mornings and nights when I come to just be home," she said. "This is home."
Formed in 1870, the church's first members were former slaves. "There are people buried in the cemetery from the 1800s, people who were slaves, you know, full Africans," explained Rev. Delicia Gipson, pastor of the church.
The church is tucked away, in the small community of Nigton. There's speculation the name derived from a racial slur. "If you can spell, you can certainly see the similarity, but I think these people just want to have their history remembered and told," said Rev. Gipson.
The day was dedicated to just that. Complete strangers were moved by the service.
"A little piece of heaven for me," said Denzel Oliphant, student at Lufkin High School. "Just to see all these people come out here today just to celebrate this church for the first time and seeing that at such a young age, got to me. It really did."
While lifelong members were just happy to have so many to celebrate with. "Just me being here and knowing that this church has stood these many years," said Guice.
Several surrounding churches helped celebrate this Sunday's service. Rev. Gipson says she's working to get the church recognized as a historical landmark.