WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Throughout the month of February we will be honoring our local Black History here in Wichita Falls. Let’s start with the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church. Its 1891 founding date makes it the oldest black church in Wichita Falls.
“This church was founded in 1891, so we are over 100 years old. The church has been very meaningful and well received in the community,” said Pastor Robert Castle.
Throughout history, the church has been a pillar of the black community, a place of worship, a place of celebration, and a place to live, no matter what goes on in the outside world. That is exactly what Mount Pleasant Baptist Church has been to this community
“No pun intended to define us as the leading black church on the Eastside,” said Pastor Castle.
The history of Mount Pleasant begins in 1891, the congregation started with 14 members. they would meet in members’ homes until a small building could be built, a building that would not last long.
“This church has survived several bomb attempts[and[theyhaverebuiltandhasbeenaveryimportantpartofourcommunityovertheyears”saidCastle[and[theyrebuildandit’sjustbeenaveryimportantpartoffourcommunityovertheyears”Castlesaid[e[hannoricostruitoedèstataunapartemoltoimportantedellanostracomunitànelcorsodeglianni”hadettoCastle[and[theyrebuildandit’sjustbeenaveryimportantpartofourcommunityovertheyears”Castlesaid
That bombing wouldn’t be the last, but those trials and tribulations of racism and enforced segregation in the Deep South were no match for the faith of the congregation
Pastor Robert Castle vividly recalls those bygone days. He took over as pastor of the church in the 1970s after his grandfather. Under his leadership, the church continues to grow, centered on all its members, some for 50 years or more
“A lot of faith in God and a lot of determination, we still have some members who are 90 and others who are 100 or older, and many of the people I pastor now I have baptized myself and pastored their parents and their grandparents, so it’s really thrilling,” Pastor Castle said.
In his more than 100 years of service to this community, Pastor Castle says he is very proud that their helping hand has reached beyond Wichita Falls.
“I’ve always tried to involve them in some kind of mission abroad, we had a ministry in Haiti. I also really appreciate the people of other races and other denominations who always stepped in to help us with what we were trying to do,” Pastor Castle said.
But with such strong faith and love, Pastor Castle says he knows the church will stand a rock here on the Eastside, a message he always shares with his flock
“I try to encourage the young and I try to convince the elders to continue to keep their faith in God and to resist.”
Mount Pleasant exemplifies strength, resilience and definitely black history.
To find out more about Mount Pleasant, click here.