Mount Vernon A.M.E. Church
Palestine (Anderson County)
Organized as a church and school by freedmen in the early 1870s, Mount Vernon African Methodist Episcopal Church is the third oldest congregation of its kind in Texas. The present structure, completed in 1921, is a prime example of Gothic Revival architecture. It has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as a 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.
Suffering major roof and structural damage, and closing in late 2013, local preservationists have been working since 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 retore the community, providing a setting for needed programs and activities for Palestine and the surrounding county. The cost of saving this charge also highlights the importance of making it possible for nonprofit organizations, churches, counties and municipalities to take advantage of the new state historic preservation tax credit through the sale and transfer of credits earned through projects that meet the highest standards.