Historic Mount Gilead Baptist Church seeking community help after roof damage

Mount Gilead Baptist Church is asking the Lubbock community for assistance with infrastructure issues
Published: Sep. 1, 2022 at 5:56 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 1, 2022 at 6:47 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Mount Gilead Baptist Church is the oldest African American church in Lubbock County.

The church was started in 1917, by eight Black community members. In 1987, they received their first historical marker, making the church a Lubbock Historical Landmark. Over the years, the marker deteriorated. In June, the Lubbock County Historical Commission Chair gave them a new marker. Now their building is experiencing damage, too.

Pastor J. Jerome Johnson Jr. is the senior pastor for Mount Gilead church. He has served the church community for six years now.

“Mount Gilead is the oldest African American black church in Lubbock County,” Johnson said. “October, we’ll be celebrating 105 years old and we are here, we’ve been standing 105 years.”

Johnson said a lot of history has been through Mount Gilead. “A lot of things have happened, ups and downs, like any other place.”

Lately, the church has been having issues with its air conditioning.

“We’ve been having some work done to it, but it seems like nothing is really helping,” Johnson said. “We’ve had some damage to our roof, just last night, cause some major damage to our roof. And so we just want to try to get this fixed.”

Sometimes, the church will have to cancel services due to the poor conditions in the building.

“If it’s been raining, we have to come in early and kind of maybe clean up some stuff, have to section off some pews or something like that, so that people can be safe,” Johnson said. “I’d rather be safe than sorry.”

When they cancel services, they usually have to find an alternative place to host them.

“During the summertime, the heat, it was just too hot. And so we don’t want anybody getting sick, hurt and things like that. So like I said, I’d rather be safe than sorry,” Johnson said. “I think it’s time that we buckle down and get this done for us.”

The church is asking for donations or volunteer work to help them get back up and running smoothly and consistently.

“There’s ways that they can give to our church, or if there’s some engineers or some roofing people that want to come by and check it out and maybe want to give some volunteer time or something like that to try to help us, that will be great,” Johnson said.

Mount Gilead has in-person and virtual services on Sunday mornings at 10 a.m. and Wednesday night virtual service at 7:05 p.m.

“It’s rich history and I’m glad to be a part of this to lead such amazing people there,” Johnson said. “We have such amazing people, a great group of believers that are you know, just love God and then wants to see our church better, you know, wants to see our church succeed and be the greatest.”

For more details about the historical landmark and ways to contribute to the church, visit their Facebook page here.