Collection: Choctaw Freedmen and Oak Hill Industrial Academy

Early Times at Forest Chapel

“I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times.” The following reminiscences of early times at Forest Church are narrated for their intrinsic as well as historic interest. The first one reveals an order of service that is very general in the colored Churches. It is one that affords the deacon, if he be a man so disposed, to spontaneously introduce considerable native wit and humor into the part of the service entrusted to him; and if he does, it very naturally prepares the way for unexpected shouts of joy and gladness on the part of those who are emotional or subject to the sudden impulse of ecstatic delight. Forest Chapel Forest Chapel, as is suggested by its name, was located in the large and dense oak forest along Red river eight miles south of Wheelock. Its post office has been successively, Wheelock, Fowlerville, Parsons and since 1906 Millerton. The Forest Church was organized by Parson Stewart about 1886, and was served by him once a month the next seven years. In 1898 it became a remote part of the field of Rev. William Butler of Eagletown, who also endeavored to visit it once a month. The chapel was a lonely, dingy and dilapidated building, inside as well as outside. It was about 20 by 30 feet and was built entirely of rough lumber. The side...

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The American Negro

To the credit of men of African descent, it may be said, that one of them performed the last act of kindness to our Lord Jesus, and the first individual conversion, of which we have an account in the book of Acts, relates to another one. Simon, who assisted Jesus to bear his cross to the place of crucifixion, was a native of Cyrene in North Africa. The eastern Church canonized him as Simon, the Black one, because his was the high and holy honor of bearing for the weary Christ, his cross of shame and pain. Our Lord Jesus was not long in the black man’s debt. A few hours later, he paid it back by bearing for him all his weary burdens, on the very cross the African had borne for him. That was a good start for the Black man. Philip, directed by an angel of the Lord to go south and join himself to the chariot occupied by the Eunuch, a man of great authority under the Queen of Ethiopia, found him reading the prophet Isaiah. Explaining the scriptures to him the eunuch confessed his faith in Jesus, was baptized with water found at the roadside and resumed his journey, homeward from Jerusalem, rejoicing. The record of this Black man’s conversion is the first one of an individual in the book of Acts. The religious...

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