Deacon says bricks were stolen from 105-year-old historically African-American church

TEXAS CITY, Texas (KTRK) -- A deacon is asking for a Texas City community's help after he says a woman stole hundreds of bricks from the back porch of a historical church.

Surveillance video shows a woman pulling up to the back porch, taking the bricks and loading them onto her truck.

Shelton told ABC13 Eyewitness News that these bricks are significant, because they are bricks that belonged to 105-year-old Greater Barbour's Chapel Baptist Church that was demolished in 2005. A new church was built in 2017.

"We established back in 1913, and many people do not know the importance of the community we were living in back then. The community is basically gone, but we still want to have something to remember where all of the blacks were back in the 40s and 50s, up until the 70s and 80s," he said.

"It really hurts me, because I was the keeper of the bricks and I was holding onto them for the memorial, and they took them from my property, and I feel as if I betrayed our people and their trust, because I was the keeper of the bricks, and they got stolen under my watch," Shelton explained.

Deacon Shelton says he has a message for the woman that took the bricks.

"I want her to understand the significance of the bricks," Shelton said. "I at no time am really interested in any charges being brought against her, all I want to (do is) appeal to her and say, 'Please bring back the bricks.'"

Deacon Edwin Shelton says the bricks were going to be used as artifacts for a new historic memorial that is being built in Texas City.

The project to build a memorial with the bricks is currently underway. Shelton says if the woman does not want to bring the bricks back, he can pick them up from her.
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