St. Paul CME Church, 1890s, Hancock County

According to Harrell Lawson, St. Paul CME traces its origins to a group of enslaved men and women from David Dickson’s nearby plantation who began holding informal services in a brush arbor in 1857. In 1870, the members purchased land on which today’s church stands in order to have a permanent meeting place but due to confusion over two different deeds (1870, 1877), Lawson doesn’t note exactly when the first church was built. Since the CME church was not founded as a national entity until 1870, it is thought that that association came later. Resource surveys date the present structure to 1890, though I have been unable to confirm the date.

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