Black Churches Featured in History Tour

Two historic Black churches are among seven locations on a tour hosted by the Taylor County Historical Commission in observance of Black History Month, which is celebrated each year in February.

The self-paced tour will be held 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, Feb. 4. A host will be present at each location to answer questions. A reception will be held 1-2:30 p.m. at the Taylor County History Archives building, 317 Pecan St. The building is the home of the historical commission.

The two Black churches on the tour are Macedonia Baptist Church, 608 N. Seventh St., and Mount Zion Baptist Church, 520 Stafford Ave.

The complete tour follows:

  1. Abilene Negro High School,  520 N. Ninth St.
  2. Dr. William Butler, 701 Mesquite St.
  3. Dyess Elementary School, 402 Delaware Road
  4. Eugenia Pickard, 342 Cockerell Drive
  5. Macedonia Baptist Church, 608 N. Seventh St.
  6. Mount Zion Baptist Church, 520 Stafford Ave.
  7. Abilene Municipal Cemetery, 1133 Cottonwood St.

Macedonia Baptist Church

Macedonia Baptist Church was organized in 1898 by the Rev. J.H. Herron of San Angelo. Charter members were Richard Hayes, who was the church’s first deacon, his wife, Winnie Hayes, and Jim and Alice Slaughter. They purchased property at the current site and had built a small frame building by 1903. The first commencement exercises for African American students in Abilene were held about 1923 in the sanctuary of Macedonia Baptist Church. The single graduate that year was a member of the church. New buildings were constructed in 1951 and 1990. Since January 2001, the church has been led by the Rev. Matthew M. Lubin Sr. 

Mt. Zion Baptist Church

Mt. Zion Baptist Church was organized by the Rev. James Curry, a missionary from Sherman, Texas, in 1885. It is the oldest Black church in Abilene. The Rev. James Lewis served as first pastor of the congregation, which met in a small house near the railroad tracks until about 1907, when a sanctuary was erected at the corner of 4th and Cherry streets in the south part of town. The church moved to the north side of town in 1940. Demotis Sherman is pasetor.

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