By: Rev. Christopher Williams, Sr.
First, thanks you to the MCTS Alumni Association for your tireless work and leadership in the Plateau Community. The love that you have shown for the school and community should be commended.
When I was asked to write an article for the Alumni Newsletter, I thought that the best thing to relay to the readers would be a brief history of Yorktown and the connection between the church and Mobile County Training School.
The following is a brief synopsis of that relationship; The spirit of God conceived the church in the hearts, soul, and minds of Christian men and women who prayed from house to house.
Over the years, written records have been lost and destroyed by fire. The history of the church was recorded orally from generation to generation.
March 21, 1883, a group of Christian leaders from the Plateau community organized a Baptist Church known at that time as Three Mile Creek Baptist Church, under the leadership of Reverend Frank Peterson. Years later, the church name was changed to New Hope Baptist Church, then later to Yorktown Baptist Church.
The church is blessed with four Usher Boards: Senior Board, Usher Board #2, Usher Board #3, and the Junior Usher Board.
The Missionary Department and the Nurse’s Aide have served faithfully for many years.
The Mass Sunday school was organized under the leadership of Reverend J. S. Hannon. Brother W. T. Thomas from Yorktown, Brother Thomas Wiggerfall from Union Baptist, Brother Limmie Kennedy from Hopewell, and Brother McGadney from Hall Chapel, now known as First Baptist. These three superintendents and pastors came together and the Mass Sunday school was organized. Reverend Matthews, along with other pastors of the community, came together and organized the combined fifth Sunday night service. Brother W. T. Thomas from Yorktown, Brother Thomas Wiggerfall from Union Baptist, Brother Limmie Kennedy from Hopewell, and Brother McGadney from Hall Chapel, now known as First Baptist. These three superintendents and pastors came together and the Mass Sunday school was organized. Reverend Matthews, along with other pastors of the community, came together and organized the combined fifth Sunday night service.
Yorktown Missionary Baptist Church has had the ties that bind with Mobile County Training School. The church and school did so much for this the Plateau community. In l915, fire destroyed the school building. Yorktown Baptist Church came to the rescue of the Mobile County Training School and provided a place for students to continue their education.
Due to another fire in 1939, Yorktown Missionary Baptist Church offered Mobile County Training School the opportunity to use the facilities for grades five, six, and seven.
The students of Mobile County Training School were required to attend Sunday school each Sunday. On Monday, the punch card verified their presence in Sunday school.
The sanctuary was used for academic studies, declamatory contests, oratorical contests, and Baccalaureate services.
Pastors of Yorktown Missionary Baptist Church
Minister Frank Peterson, Minister L. W. Norris, Minister L. F. Jackson, Minister H. D. Parker, Minister H. P. Williams, Minister Joe S. Hannon, Minister Milton Smith, Minister A. C. L. Arbouin, Minister Douglas L. Motley, Minister John Eugene Matthews, Minister C. L. Daniel and Reverend Christopher L. Williams, Sr.
May God continue to bless Yorktown Missionary Baptist Church, Mobile County Training School, MCTS Alumni Association, and the entire Africatown Community.
Africatown Heritage Preservation Foundation
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