Mount Vernon A.M.E. Church
Palestine (Anderson County)
Organized as a church and school by freedmen in 1873, Mount Vernon African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church is thought to be the third oldest A.M.E. congregation in Texas. The present structure, completed in 1921, is a prime example of Gothic Revival architecture. It has been individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, and as a City of Palestine Landmark. In a town with over 1,800 identified historic structures, it is one of only a handful with all three designations. Located at 913 E. Calhoun Street, it stands in the oldest African-American neighborhood in Palestine, just northeast of the Original Town.
Suffering major roof and structural damage and closing in late 2013, local preservationists have been working to raise money for a full restoration and re-opening. A restored Mount Vernon A.M.E. Church will not only provide new life for a historic structure, but will serve as a physical resource that will help to restore the community, providing a setting for needed programs and activities for Palestine and the surrounding county. The expense of repairing this church also highlights the importance of the state historic preservation tax credit to nonprofit organizations.