Galveston.com  JUNETEENTH: Reedy Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church

HISTORIC PLACES
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Texas' first African Methodist Episcopal Church.

In 1848 the Methodist Episcopal Church South established an African American church for its slaves. The trustees purchased land at 20th and Broadway and a church was erected. A fire destroyed the church in 1885.

In 1886 the church was reorganized by the Reverend M. M. Clark, and the new building, completed in 1888, was turned over to newly freed slaves.

The name “Reedy” was taken from the Reverend Houston Reedy, who was Clark's successor. The building is a combination of gothic revival architecture and regional craftsmanship. The masonry of the church was laid by renowned church member Norris Wright Cuney.

About Juneteenth
On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger issued General Order #3 in Galveston to inform the people of Texas that a proclamation from President Abraham Lincoln deemed that all slaves were free. This message took more than two and a half years to reach Texas.

Juneteenth celebrations commemorating the freedom of Texas' 250,000 slaves started in Galveston and are now observed throughout America. More than 24 states recognize this date as a state holiday or have some official form of observance.