NOTABLE PLACES

SOUTHERN CHRISTIAN INSTITUTE

LOCATION: Edwards, MS

Noted as a historic institute and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.

 

SCI was founded on service, grounded in excellence and anchored in tradition, early in it’s conception, the Mace family acknowledged and stressed the significance of education. Many of the ancestors and descendants were highly educated with most attending the Southern Christian Institute in Edward, Mississippi.

 

The institution was originally organized by the General Christian Missionary Society of the Disciples of Christ Church, as a rural, private boarding school for black students after Reconstruction in 1882. The Missionary Society purchased the 800-acre plantation of Col. McKinney L. Cook and for 71 years this institute would rise to produce countless educators, farmers, and medical practitioners in the Mace family.

 

The Edwards, MS campus closed in 1953. Determining later that Tougaloo College and SCI had similar missions and goals, the supporting churches merged the two institutions in 1954 and named the new institution Tougaloo Southern Christian College. Combining the resources of the two supporting bodies, the new institution renewed its commitment to educational advancement and the improvement of race relations in Mississippi. The alumni bodies united to become the National Alumni Association of Tougaloo Southern Christian College. In 1962, by vote of the Board of Trustees and with the agreement of the supporting bodies, the name was changed again to Tougaloo College.

Family Alumni of SCI: Illinois Mace, Pattie M. Mace, Queen Esther Mace Jackson, Mynetta Mace Smith, Allien Mace Brooks, Ethel Elaine Mace, Mary Mace Allen, Martha Mace Faulkner.

Southern Christian Institute.jpg

Source: Mississippi Deparment of Archives

JARVIS COLLEGE

LOCATION: Hawkins, TX

Although formal instructional programs at Jarvis began on January 13, 1913, with an enrollment of twelve students, all in the elementary grades, the school began as early as 1904, when the Negro Disciples of Christ of Texas began to plan for a school for black youth. Major James Jarvis and his wife Ida Van Zandt Jarvis donated land upon which the school could be built; the family deeded 456 acres to the Christian Women's Board of Missions on the condition it be maintained as a school for blacks. Jarvis opened its doors as Jarvis Christian Institute, modeled after the Southern Christian Institute located west of Jackson in EdwardsMississippi.

Jarvis is the only historically black college which remains of the twelve founded by the Disciples of Christ Church.

Family Alumni of Jarvis College: Queen Esther Mace Jackson, Mynetta Mace Smith, Aileen Mace Brooks, Ethel Elaine Mace

Jarvis Christian College.jpg

HENRY CEMETARY

LOCATION: Edwards, MS

“For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. -Romans 14:7-8

In the midst of towering trees with refined roots and breathtaking branches, the souls of our ancestors find rest and contentment in the rich soils of Henry Cemetery. Positioned in the rural forests of Edwards, Mississippi, this historic hallmark is home to the remains of countless ancestors and descendants of the Mace family. For years, the family has supported the sustainment of this beautiful cemetery. Through philanthropic initiatives and collective labor, the Mace family has established the precedence of service for others to emulate, thereby distinguishing themselves. The cemetery consists of acres of land remotely located near the family’s home church and the original estates.

NEW OAK RIDGE CHURCH

LOCATION: Edwards, MS

A conscious commitment to the lofty ideals of Christianity and spirituality draped in passion, describes the love that the Mace family possessed for their home church, New Oak Ridge M.B. Church. For generations, this pillar of peace, nostalgically nestled in rural Edwards, Mississippi, provided the basis of faith that fueled this family. The soulful sounds of gospel music and deep conviction of the word of Christ, guided this family through many tumultuous times and this sacred house of prayer was positioned as the cornerstone. Several members of the family served in various capacities in the church. Presently, this church still serves as the home to many of the descendants of the Mace family. 

- This church is where George Mace Jr. and Queen Esther Lowe were married was attended primarily by the direct descendants of George Mace Jr. Both Stanford B. Mace and Roscoe Mace were Deacons of this church.

Source: Melba Kennedy

New%20Oak%20Ridge%20Church_edited.jpg

OLD OAK RIDGE CHURCH

LOCATION: Edwards, MS

"Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.”
-1 Corinthians 12:12

The gifts bestowed on us from above are our blessings from Christ and should be used to strengthen the community, even in times of weakness. Such was the spirit of the Old Oak Ridge M. B. Church in Edwards, MS. This tabernacle of faith served as the church home to many of the earlier ancestors of the Mace family. For years, the family rolled their sleeves, rising early and retiring late, in a ceaseless quest to heal the conditions of the rural Hinds County area through unconditional love and unselfish service. Countless members of this family would rise through the ranks of this church, compelling others to come and enjoy the blessings of the word, which was weekly imparted in this temple. Old Oak Ridge was a symbol of light in a dark world and the members carried this light for all to see. The love of God engulfed all who dwelled here and this house of faith would prosper and flourish for years to come, as did those who were born into the Mace family.

 

- This is the church where the roots of George Mace Sr. and his children are firmly planted.

ST. PETER MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH

LOCATION: Utica, MS

 

Among the charter members of this historic church were the grandparents and great-grandfather of Queen Esther (Lowe) Mace. Their names were Peter & Anna Stiles  and Simon Andrews. 

This is St. Peter’s historic record: Before our country was rift apart by the Civil War, the united Utica Baptist Church served as a worship place for both slave owners and slaves. The church body had 54% white members and 46% black members who were slaves. The sixty-eight (68) white members and the fifty-eight (58) black members co-existed in their worship service. The Reconstruction Era, the reorganization and re-establishment of the seceded states in the Union after the American Civil War, brought about many problems for the former slaves and their owners. Tension mounted between the slave owners and the slaves which led to the dissolution of the unified Utica Baptist Church. The white parishioners continued to operate under the original name, and the former slaves called themselves, St. Peter Missionary Baptist Church. These free men and women were charter members of the newfound church. 

Approximately 35-40 members moved to St. Peter, which is now the oldest active Missionary Baptist congregation in Hinds County. Utica Baptist minutes documented the names of the first deacons and mothers, as well as congregation names of St. Peter. The first local trustees of the Utica Institute for Colored Children, established by William Hotzclaw in 1902 (classes began in 1903) came from the old congregation at Utica and St. Peter, and the Institute's first treasurer was Bank of Utica president and Utica Baptist member William J. Ferguson.

St. Peter is located at 615 Main Street, Utica, Mississippi. In the rear of the building is a large cemetery that serves as the final resting place for many members and non-members. For one hundred and fifty-three years, God has set St. Peter among his people to last as a symbol of righteousness. The Pastor and members realize that the only true reason for being in this building is to do the Lord’s will. St. Peter’s age of one hundred and fifty-three years is a testament of her dedication to God and to the community in which she serves. She is one of the oldest Black churches in the State of Mississippi. She stands as a lighthouse to those who have lost their way. As lost souls enter the harbor, she is that beacon of light that guides them to the Father. It is written in John 8:12, “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” For a century and a half many wounded souls have found repentance and comfort within the consecrated walls of her sanctuary. To sum up the promise to the believers, God said to Peter in Matthew 16:18, “…upon this rock I will build my church: and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” 

 

St Peter Missionary Baptist Church.jpg

Source: St Peter Missionary Baptist Church Facebook