|ALLEN CHAPEL COMMUNITY|
Photo and Article by Suzanne Steed
Allen Chapel Community
Allen Chapel, nestled in the pine forest, a mile south of Ratcliff off State Highway 7 in eastern Houston County, was established by emancipated slaves of pioneer landowners in nearby communities.
This was a farming community where life centered around the church and school nearby. The community was very close and its members did not venture far. Land for the African Methodist Episcopal Church was purchased from Nat Allen, one of the original church trustees, for whom the community was named.
A one room schoolhouse was built in 1910, a Rosenwald School. This school was moved to Kennard in 1968, but was returned to its home in 1985. The Rosenwald School still stands in good repair and is a structure that is on the architectural endangered list.
Today the Allen Chapel Church has regular Sunday gatherings and homecomings. Many years ago, Dick Sheffield lived on the highest hill that overlooked the treetops of Allen Chapel. Dick Sheffield along with Ace and Willie Ards are remembered as some of the older residents. Naomi Forman, Dorothy Wallace, Sissie King, Jewel and Chester Denman and John H. and Joe Foreman are remembered as the younger residents whose children and grandchildren currently work to keep the community alive.