Sabine County's oldest black congregation keeps history alive

Sabine County's oldest black congregation keeps history alive
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

SABINE COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - One of the oldest congregations in Deep East Texas has been through many changes, locations being one of them.

However Pastor Orvin Garrett of Cedar Grove Baptist Church said one thing that never changed was its message.

"We are recognized in the state of Texas as the oldest black church in the county," Garrett said.

Cedar Grove Baptist church was founded in the late 1800s and has been a symbol of African American strength and deep faith ever since.

"As I get older, and I see things changing, the Lord is making it a little better for us that we all can lift him up together," Garrett said.

The Church stood strong through a lot of hardship, segregation being one of them.

"I'm praying and hoping that it gets better from this day forward," Garrett said. "The Lord made us all, he didn't segregate none of us. He made us all in his own image. My deal is to make sure everybody knows who Jesus is."

Although segregation was one of the Church's darkest times, Garrett said they still do old traditions to keep history alive.

"We still do what we call a homecoming," Garrett said. "We go outside and sit on the ground eating in fellowship with one another."

Garrett said the reason the church keeps up with traditions is so the younger generation can know where they come from in order to help get them where they're going.

"Every organization, every race, needs to know where their roots came from," Garrett said. "Knowing your roots makes things better in life that. "ou'll realize that the Lord is really blessing us because he has brought us from a mighty long ways."

Garrett said that since the church is the oldest black church in Sabine County they make sure black history is celebrated more than just 28 days.

"I make sure that it's done in February, but I try to make sure that the children and adults know something about it every month.

When the church was first created. they started out with just five members. Now, they normally seat more than 100.

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