Fredericksburg, Texas – On west Main Street is an historic church on land deeded to the “Colored People of Gillespie County”. In this German settlement – best known for it’s peace treaty with local Comanche tribes – few people are aware of this important and historical place of worship that was built for African American citizens a few years after the end of the Civil War.
But now, due to neglect, it faces demolition by order of the city council.
One of it’s heirs, Dr. Paul Phillips, says that to save the church from demolition, an inspection needs to be done by a building contractor to get a list of required repairs.
Most importantly, it will need a guardian to open, close, and clean the church on a regular basis.
A documentary video is currently in the works by Frontier Media Scout and Dr. Paul Phillips to bring public awareness to the historical significance of the church in the Fredericksburg community. The film is scheduled to be released in the Summer of 2014. If you have any photos or information on the history of this church, please contact us.
The history of the Church as written on the Historical Marker:
Several black families were residing in Gillespie County by the 1870s. A schoolhouse was built in 1877 on property adjacent to this later church site.
Blacks probably met in the school for worship services before this church was completed 10 years later.
In 1887 Oscar Basse deeded this lot to William McLane, Silas Russel, James Scruggins, and James Tinker as trustees of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church. Members of the congregation erected this simple frame structure, with its small steeple, atop a native limestone foundation.
In recent years, when the local black community dispersed, use of the church building decreased and deterioration set in. Cora Phillips, widow of Paul Phillips, well-known Gillespie County veterinarian and church trustee, suggested restoring the structure for use by Youth Organizations United in 1974. The youth, representing half a dozen faiths, carried out repair and renovation work and gained national recognition for their endeavors.
Dr. Robert Mosby, son of the black congregation’s third pastor, the Rev. William H. Mosby, preached at ceremonies in February 1976, when the restored building was dedicated as the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.
The church is located at:
250 West Main