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ESTABLISHED IN 1887

CHRISTIAN METHODIST
EPISCOPAL CHURCH
OF GILLESPIE COUNTY

Restore     Renew     Rediscover

DISCOVER THE RICH HERITAGE

Step into the past and explore the historical landmark that is the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church of Gillespie County and soon, the replica of the original schoolhouse. This special site holds a significant place in our community’s history.

OUR STORY

A Journey into History The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church of Gillespie County is a historical and spiritual hub that offers insight into the lives of African Americans who lived and worked in Gillespie County in the late 1800s to early 1900s. This story begins at a time of struggle and perseverance when slavery divided the United States. Documentation shows the presence of slaves on Doss (Doff) plantation, the one and only plantation in Gillespie County. Established in 1849 by John Doss, who left his eastern life seeking the fertile soils of the Texas Hill country, Doss relied on enslaved labor to cultivate these new lands. Also on record, officers and soldiers brought slaves with them to Fort Martin Scott when it was established in 1848 as an Army out-post to protect settlers in this area from local Indian raids.  ​ A Testament to Resilience While the Civil War ended in 1865, many slaves of the South were not notified until 1867 that they were free men and women by executive decree. Some chose to remain with their former masters while others sought opportunities to farm independently. In Gillespie County, an estimated 10-12 families decided to stay and build a new life for themselves. These courageous families continued their farming endeavors and engaged in trade with the local German people of Fredericksburg. ​ A Commitment to Education and Faith These families recognized that education and church played pivotal roles in shaping their future. In 1877, four African American families joined together and purchased property located just east of the main town. On that property, they built a schoolhouse that educated students up to 6th grade and later a church where they would gather, worship and strengthen their spiritual bonds. ​ That schoolhouse and church served the African American community for many years. Eventually some of those families moved out of Fredericksburg in search of better educational opportunities for their children and greater employment opportunities. The few families who chose to stay in Fredericksburg have left an indelible mark on the city’s history. Many of those family members are buried in the Colored Peoples Section of Der Stadt Freidhoff (the city cemetery).  ​ Proudly Preserving that Legacy Today, decendants of these original families are committed to preserving the structures that were built by that community in 1877. As 4th and 5th generation African Americans, their mission is to discover past histories, tell their individual stories and be included in the rich heritage of Fredericksburg, Texas and Gillespie County. This ongoing project will continue into perpetuity and serve as a beacon of inclusion, acceptance and legacies for decades to come. ​

PRESERVING OUR LEGACY

We are dedicated to preserving this important piece of history for future generations. Through meticulous restoration efforts, we have ensured that this landmark remains an authentic representation of its original form, allowing visitors to experience its historical significance firsthand.

DONATIONS OF ANY AMOUNT ARE WELCOME

Currently, funds are being raised to build a replica of the one-room schoolhouse that served local African American children from the late 1800s until the 1930s. Future plans include a museum of artifacts, landscape improvements and a bride’s changing room for weddings.  

501 3c EIN 49-5476880

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