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HPPR People & Communities

Amarillo’s Black Churches Carry On A Long And Proud Tradition

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Last month, Amarillo’s Jenkins Chapel celebrated its 91st anniversary. The little church was packed with visiting worshippers from nearby churches like Johnson Chapel and Mount Zion.

As the Amarillo Globe-News noted this week, these houses of worship are part of a small but mighty community of historically black churches on the north side of the city. Carter Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church is Amarillo’s oldest black church. Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church followed soon after, in 1910.

The black churches reached their peak membership from the 1940s through the 1960s. In those days, Amarillo was segregated, and that tradition persists in these churches today.

The Rev. Herman Moore, pastor at Carter Chapel Primitive Baptist Church, says Sunday is the most segregated day in America. But, he added, that segregation is slowly diminishing. And that change is welcome, the pastor said.