MANSFIELD –Remnants of a time in American history where the nation was physically divided has come to an end for one Texas town.
For over 50 years, a Mansfield Cemetery has been segregated by a fence, separating the mostly all-white Mansfield Cemetary from the all black Mansfield Community Cemetery. But now that fence no longer stands.
“I knew the fence been here ever since I can remember,” said Bobby Jackson, who has family buried in the cemetery. “It means things are changing. People are beginning to realize, death don’t have no color barrier.”
Bethlehem Baptist Church and First United Methodist Church in Mansfield came together for this monumental event.
“We prayed that this chained linked fence be brought down and that there would never be any more division between the two sides of the cemetery,” said First United Methodist Church member Rhonda Ramsdell.
Bethlehem Baptist Church is the oldest African-American church in Tarrant County at 148 years old. Senior pastor Dr. Michael Evans has always supported getting rid of the barrier.
“We’re here to celebrate being children of destiny. God has blessed us to witness, I believe, something that many of our foreparents prayed about years ago,” said Evans. “And I think it symbolizes who we are now as the city of Mansfield. We are that city that works to move those dividing lines.”
Just one example of how a small change can have a big impact.