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NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TEXAS - A PART OF THE TXGenWeb AND USGenWeb PROJECTS

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ZION HILL BAPTIST CHURCH CEMETERY, NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TEXAS
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ZION HILL BAPTIST CHURCH CEMETERY

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The Zion Hill Baptist Church Cemetery is located on the south side of Park Road just west of University Blvd. in the city of Nacogdoches.


 
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Zion Hill Baptist Church Cemetery Historical Marker

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Zion Hill Historical Marker

Zion Hill Baptist Church Cemetery



     The Rev. Lawson Reed came to Nacogdoches in 1878 to find no organized Baptist Church serving the Black community.  For a time, he attended the Union Church with other Baptists as well as Presbyterians and Methodists, sometimes leading services there.  The Rev. Mr. Reed prevailed upon local Baptists to organize their own church, and in 1879 they began to meet under a bursh arbor.  Frank and Ellen Walton, Annie K. McClain, Jim and Annie
Rigsby, Hariett Moore, Hattoe Vaughns, Velma Williams
McCullough and the Reeds were the charter members of the
church.  The approach of winter forced them to seek other
accommodations, and the Waltons gave two acres of land for
a building.

   Though the presence of the church and a number of
unmarked and undated graves suggest earlier interments at
this site, the earliest marked grave is that of Julia Harris, who
died on February 8, 1897.  Hers is the only marked grave dating from the 19th century.

   The Zion Hill Baptist Church grew steadily from its inceptionand by the 1890s the congregation required a larger structure.  Early members continued to be buried on this site until the burialof Charley Blakey in 1945.

   Among those buried here are the Rev. Lawson Reed (d. 1924, whose grave is marked by two stones; John B. Liggins (d. 1919), Amiel Rivers (d. 1932), and Jim Smith (d. 1938), who served in World War I.  There are several markers denoting members of fraternal organizations.  Over time, the cemetery fell into disrepair.  In the early 1970s a movement began to have the city assume custodianship of the cemetery.  The burial ground remains a chronicle of the African American pioneers of Nacogdoches.

 

 

 
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This page last updated: Sunday, 31-Mar-2013 11:22:53 MDT Wednesday, October 14, 2009