The Texas Historical Commission (THC) has recognized Ebenezer Baptist Church in Wolfe City as a significant part of Texas history by awarding it an Official Texas Historical Marker. This designation honors Ebenezer Baptist Church as an important and educational part of local history.
“The Official Texas Historical Marker program helps bring attention to community treasures and the importance of their preservation,” said Mark Wolfe, executive director of the THC.
Ebenezer Baptist Church is Wolfe City’s first African American church. Services were held in a one room dwelling located at the current church’s location. The original building was later replaced by sanctuaries over the years. On June 9, 1889, services began at the historic landmark church with Rev. AC Brown leading the congregation. Beloved pastor Rev. John Williams led the church for the longest period of time, for 56-years, from 1941-1997. Ebenezer Baptist Church holds Annual Homecoming celebrations the second Sunday in June, to honor the first service at the church, and remains a significant part of the history of Wolfe City and a testament to the faith of the citizens old and new.
A dedication ceremony to commemorate the event will be held on Saturday, Aug 22, at 12:00 p.m. at the church, located at 301 South Spencer Street, Wolfe City, TX.
Speakers expected for the afternoon will include Reginald Loftin, descendant of one of founding members of the church, Rev. Melva Hill, current Pastor of the church, and Carol Taylor, from the Hunt County Historical Commission.
The commission welcomes the public to share in and witness this exciting historical event, while recognizing local social distancing protocols. Wearing a mask and social distancing of 6-feet between family groups will be required to attend the ceremony.
“Awareness and education are among the best ways to guarantee the preservation of our state’s history. This designation is a tool that will increase public awareness of important cultural resources,” Wolfe said.
Reginald Loftin, who partnered with Rodney Herron and THC to undertake the procurement and placement of this marker, commented, “Remembering our past is essential to moving forward and creating a sense of pride for all residents of Wolfe City, past, present and future. Knowing the history of our area creates a foundation to help us grow and encourage people to visit our beautiful, quaint town.”
Texas has the largest marker program in the United States, with approximately 15,000 markers. Seventeen states have used the Texas program as a model; the THC reviews more than 300 marker applications each year. The Texas Historical Commission is the state agency for historic preservation. The agency administers a variety of programs to preserve the archeological, historical and cultural resources of Texas.