WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Throughout the month of February we’ll be honoring our local Black History here in Wichita Falls. We begin with the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church. Its founding date of 1891 makes it the oldest Black church in Wichita Falls.
“This church was founded in 1891 so we’re well over 100 years old. The church has been very significant and highly regarded in the community,” Pastor Robert Castle said.
Throughout history, the church has been a pillar in the Black community, a place of worship, a place of celebration, and a place of life, no matter what was going on in the outside world. That’s exactly what Mount Pleasant Baptist Church has been to this community
“No pun intended we would call ourselves the leading black church on the Eastside,” Pastor Castle said.
The story of Mount Pleasant begins in 1891, the congregation started out with 14 members. they would meet in the homes of members until a small building was built, a building that wouldn’t stand for long.
“This church has survived several bombing attempts [and[ they rebuild, and it’s just been a very important part of our community over the years,” Castle said.
That bombing wouldn’t be the last but those trials and tribulations of racism and forced segregation in the deep south were no match for the congregation’s faith
Pastor Robert Castle recalls those days of the past quite vividly. He took over pastoring the church in the 1970s’ after his grandfather. Under his leadership, the church continues to grow, at the center of it all its members, some there 50 years or more
“A lot of faith in God, and a lot of determination, we do still have some members that are in their 90’s and others that are 100 or more, and many of the people that I pastor now I baptized them myself and I’ve pastored their parents and their grandparents so that’s really thrilling,” Pastor Castle said.
In its 100+ years of service to this community, Pastor Castle says he’s most proud of the fact that their helping hand has reached beyond Wichita Falls.
“I’ve always tried to involve them in some sort of foreign mission, we had a ministry to Haiti. I’m really appreciative too for people from other races and other denominations that have always stepped in to assist us in what we were trying to do,” Pastor Castle said.
But with faith and a love this strong, Pastor Castle says he knows the church will remain a rock here on the Eastside, a message he always shares to his flock
“I try to encourage the young people and I try to get the older people to continue to keep their faith in God and to hold on,”.
Mount Pleasant exemplifies strength, resilience, and surely black history.
To learn even more about Mount Pleasant, just click here.