Parker County Today PCT June 2018 - Page 78

our history: PRINCE MEMORIAL CME CHURCH Saving Prince Story and Photos By MEL W RHODES Historic Prince Memorial in desperate need of rescue Raymond George, Clem Smith 76 A lmost unnoticed, a unique piece of history hugs a slope a few blocks west of the Courthouse Square, slouching a bit under the weight of time and seven roofs. Built in 1871 by former slaves, according to Weatherford’s Raymond George and Clem Smith, Prince Memorial CME Church is something special. “It’s been documented as the oldest Black CME church in the state of Texas,” George said. “Second [oldest] in the United States.” George said the local black community not only worshipped at Prince, but attended “school” as well. The building served as a school until 1907 when the Mount Pleasant Colored School was built. [George ramrodded recent efforts to renovate the dilapidated school building (Mount Pleasant), helping save that historic property for posterity.] Now, Prince Memorial CME Church, at 410 West Oak St., is in trouble. “It’s actually the roof,” George explained. “Though we originally thought it was a foundation problem, they have