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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Commerce in Hunt County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Mt. Moriah Temple Baptist Church

 
 
Mt. Moriah Temple Baptist Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jesse Nelsen, January 26, 2021
1. Mt. Moriah Temple Baptist Church Marker
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Serving Commerce since 1896, Mt. Moriah Temple Baptist Church has been an influential and vital institution since its organization. The congregation has its roots in the Cypress District Association, which formed in 1872 to organize congregations and build church building across northeast Texas. The Rev. Henry C. Riley, a noted missionary evangelist and member of the association, worked with preacher and Wolfe City teacher James I. Gilmore in organizing the new church.

Mt. Moriah Temple Baptist Church immediately began to serve the spiritual and social needs of the Norris Community, where most of Commerce’s African-American population lived. Church members have reached out to the community by providing food, shelter, clothing and medicine. The congregation has also developed youth and college ministries, focusing particularly on students from Texas A&M University-Commerce.

The church served as a beacon of hope in the turbulent social and political decades of the early to mid-20th century, when the Norris community gained a reputation as a violent place. During the 1960s, the church played a vital political role by organizing
Mt. Moriah Temple Baptist Church, across the street from the Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jesse Nelsen, January 26, 2021
2. Mt. Moriah Temple Baptist Church, across the street from the Marker
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voting drives and hosting candidates for public offices. The congregation established links with the local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and many influential members of the city were members of the church; a number of Norris community streets are named for these individuals. Today, the congregation continues to serve the spiritual, physical and social needs of the Norris community and the city of Commerce.
Marker is property of the State of Texas
 
Erected 2010 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 16577.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Churches & Religion. A significant historical year for this entry is 1896.
 
Location. 33° 15.129′ N, 95° 53.36′ W. Marker is in Commerce, Texas, in Hunt County. Marker is at the intersection of Champion Lane and Ross Street, on the right when traveling north on Champion Lane. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Commerce TX 75428, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Josiah Hart Jackson, Texas Ranger (approx. ¼ mile away); Bruce B. Williams American Legion Post No. 1 (approx. half a mile away); Jernigin's Store (approx. half a mile away); Commerce Post Office (approx. half a mile away); First Christian Church of Commerce
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(approx. 0.6 miles away); Site of Early Commerce Schools (approx. 0.6 miles away); Historical Stop - Downtown Commerce (approx. 0.6 miles away); Incorporation of Commerce (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Commerce.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 27, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 26, 2021, by Jesse Nelsen of Farmersville, Texas. This page has been viewed 25 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 26, 2021, by Jesse Nelsen of Farmersville, Texas. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.
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Mar. 8, 2021