GRAPELAND, TX (KTRE) - A Deep East Texas community gathered at an historical church today. It was not for mass or service, but for a celebration of its rich and lengthy history. The Brewington Baptist Church in Houston County unveiled its official Texas Historical Marker today.
They are proud and progressive.
"I sat in this pulpit when i was a child, so my heritage goes back to the founding fathers of the church," said Marvin Green, a Youth Pastor and grandson of a former pastor.
In the year 1880, freed slaves worked to build a church of their own after the Civil War.
"Twenty dollars got them four acres, and they put their money together and bought this, so I'd like for them to be honored," said Ella Curvey Green, a historian.
Today, they were honored. Songs, reflections, laughs, and memories were shared by the Houston County community. The mayor and commissioners supported the notion to move forward without forgetting the past.
"Knowing who you are and where you came from helps you to embrace, do something different, and love people," Ella said.
"If they don't know where they've been, they will have no idea of where they're going and what they are capable of," said Marvin.
The main messages speakers had were sharing history with youth and knowing they can overcome.
"If I have heritage, I can pass it on," said Ella. "Life is tough, but these guys had tough times, and they made it."
As for the former slaves and founding fathers of Brewington Baptist Church, Marvin said, "A father's wish for his child is that some point in time his children will surpass him, and I think we are doing that right now."
"They would be delighted, just to know they didn't die in vain. They came out here and worked hard," Ella said.