Gilmer church celebrates milestone anniversary - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Gilmer church celebrates milestone anniversary

A significant anniversary for an East Texas church, a church that was started by freed slaves in the 1800's. Freedom was still uncharted territory for the men and woman who started the little Gilmer area church of Moses Chapel CME.

It was started by freed slaves in 1883, 18 years after emancipation. Church members say the founders probably didn't even have a building when they started, but descendants of those freed slaves still worship today.

"Out of all the things that have folded and gone under , this church is still standing, banks and businesses may fold up but gods church is still standing," says church Pastor Reverend F. L. Curry Sr.

Celebrating 129 years of worship, members often think of what that moment must have been like for a people with newfound freedom.

"What are you going to do now , they didn't know, it was the fear of the unknown , a lot of fear of the unknown. We didn't have the master to deal with anymore but there were a lot of learning things that had to take place and the church was the place to learn and function," says church member D.C. Turner.

Many are direct descendants of the founders, who faced an uncertainty of life and turned to faith as a guide.

"Freedom was brand new in 1883, just out of slavery and the church offered the opportunity for people socially , educationally," Turner says.

The church capped off their celebration with a groundbreaking ceremony on a new expansion.

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