Me: Where did y’all go to church?
Margaret Colvert Allen: We were Episcopalians.
Me: What was — was the church in Statesville? What was it called?
MCA: Holy Cross Mission.
Me: It was a black church?
Me: Oh, okay. And y’all participated —
MCA: Everybody but Papa.
My mother: What was Papa?
MCA: He was a late bloomer. [Laughs.] He didn’t join the church ’til he was about … oh, near 50, something like that. No, it wasn’t that late. About 40, I guess. Like all people who join church late like that, they are fanatics when they finally do, and that’s the way he was. But in the meantime, you see, we had been going with Mama to church. Went to Sunday school, we went to eleven o’clock service, then we went back again at four. And, when he joined church, he joined another church his mother belonged to. Which was an AME Zion church. And we had to go to that church, too.
Me: Plus the Episcopal church???
MCA: We had to go to his church at night. It was all right, ’cause we didn’t mind. That was an outlet.
“Trinity Episcopal Church was organized as The Chapel of the Cross in 1858. The congregation built a church on Walnut Street in 1875 to serve its 25 members and took the name Trinity Church. The Walnut Street church stands today and is the Quaker Meeting House. Holy Cross Church, Statesville’s African-American Episcopal congregation, was formed in 1887. The Holy Cross congregation held services on Washington Avenue in a building which is no longer standing. After nearly 100 years the congregations of these churches merged. Ground was broken on the plot of land on North Center Street at Henkel Road on June 18, 1967, beginning construction of the church building that is home to our parish today. The Blessing of Trinity Episcopal Church was held September 28, 1968.” — From “Parish History,” http://www.trinityepiscopalstatesville.org/church.html#history
Interview of Margaret C. Allen, 8 August 1999, Newport News VA; all rights reserved.