Curtis House Cultural Center a Must During Black History Month

By LORETTA FULTON

The Rev. Andrew Penns, pastor at Valley View Missionary Baptist Church, grew up in Abilene and was in the last graduating class at Woodson High School.

After graduating from Woodson, Penns served in the Army, including time in Vietnam. When he returned to Abilene, he didn’t like the racial environment he saw. So he moved to Austin but eventually returned to his hometown, determined to make a difference.

The Rev. Andrew Penns, left, accepts a portrait of Dr. William Butler from the artist, Dr. Gary Goodnight. The portrait of Butler, Abilene’s first Black physician, was a gift to Curtis House Cultural Center, which Penns directs. Photo by Loretta Fulton

Penns is well known in the community for his service in many areas, including founding Interested Citizens of Abilene North (ICAN) and serving as director of the Curtis House Cultural Center, which houses the contributions of Black residents to Abilene’s history.

Loretta Fulton wrote an article about the cultural center for the January/February issue of Abilene Scene magazine. February is Black History Month, an extremely busy month for Penns as he guides tours of the center.

Click on the link below to read the article.

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