GHOLSON, Texas — Adel Taylor has many stories from the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Gholson and the school that used to be here.
In fact, sitting in these pews on Sunday has been a tradition of his for more than 80 years.
Taylor said, “We all used to come to church, and we all didn’t have transportation to the church some of us had to walk to the church.”
Being the first African American church in Gholson, the church was a focal point for Blacks through the Jim Crow era and Reconstruction.
Pleasant Grove Baptist Church was an outlet for many Blacks to feel safe.
Deacon Charles Perkins with Pleasant Grove Baptist Church said, “when you're accustomed to being segregated from the other races, you get accustomed to how life is living on your own and so we had that freedom of worship and the freedom of expression.”
The church has grown since then and now people of all races attend Pleasant Grove.
Members from the first Baptist church in Gholson joined the celebration as both churches celebrate 150 years in ministry.
As for how they’ve stayed open so long, Pastor Darrick Ervin says it’s thanks to the solid foundation passed from former generations.
Darrick Ervin said “Not because we were so smart or educated or so spiritual. It’s because we had a good place to start from and so that what we’re trying to do now that’s what we are doing here.”
Now the church is working to pass that on, making sure younger generations understand what Pleasant Grove means to the community and the vital role it plays in bringing people together from all walks of life.
Charles Perkins added, “So, they understand the history, which they came from and the heritage and the legacy that remains for them to capture, keep and maintain here in this community.”
A legacy for this community that hopes to last another 150 years.