White Rock Chapel
Formed in the Freedman's community of Upper White Rock (settled by former slaves from the nearby Coit, Caruth and Obier plantations), White Rock Chapel Methodist Church was organized after a meeting at the home of George Coit. Founding members purchased land on White Rock Creek beside a small African American burial ground in early 1884 and constructed a log building. The first pastor, the Rev. Mr. Burse, served about 28 families until 1914. Frequent flooding was a problem for the congregation. According to oral history, the congregation sometimes spent days inside the building waiting for floodwaters to recede. A 1918 deluge drowned a family after a service; soon after, the congregation moved to this site on higher ground only a few hundred feet to the west. It was donated by S. S. Noell, an Anglo who was a frequent visitor to White Rock Chapel. The congregation was renamed Christian Chapel, C. M. E., in honor of its pastor, C. C. Christian. In 1960, a church member donated more land about a mile south. Most of the original congregation decided to relocate. After enduring the loss of their building from fire, remaining members reclaimed their original name, calling themselves White Rock Chapel Independent Methodist Church. In the fall of 1969, a large corporation claimed ownership of the three acres known as the White Rock Union Graveyard. Area churches banded together to fight the claim in court, securing a temporary restraining order. White Rock Chapel trustees continued the legal battle to preserve the land on which their church first met, finally prevailing in 1979. By the end of the 20th century, the church served a wide area of Dallas County, including residents of the cities of Dallas, Grand Prairie, Garland and Carrollton. (2000) Incise: The congregation of White Rock Chapel wishes to express appreciation to the following people: Sister Ora D. Allen - former secretary and Sunday School teacher; Elder J. O. Allen - former associate minister and Sunday School teacher; Elder H. H. Levels - former pastor; Harvey M. Moody - former steward, Sunday School superintendent and treasurer; Brother Albert Sowell - former treasurer; Sister Willie M. Sowell - former secretary and head trustee; Sister Minnie Moody - head trustee, pastor aid; Elder Billy J. Forward, Sr. - pastor; Sister Mae F. Forward - secretary, Sunday School superintendent, treasurer and choir president; Brother Elbert Winn - church advisor; Ron Whitehead - city manager, town of Addison; Andrew Eads - researcher, author of marker application; Jeff Dunn - chairman, Dallas County Historical Commission. Marker sponsored by the town of Addison.
5555 Celestial Road Addison, Texas
Year Erected: 2000
Marker Type: 27 in x 42 in