tony_l._cato.pngLAKE WORTH — In recognition of Black History Month, New Hope Missionary Baptist Church will host a visual presentation by Lake Worth historian, Ted Brownstein, on his recent book Pioneers of Jewell. The presentation focused on the role that blacks played in founding the City of Lake Worth.

In 1885, Samuel and Fannie James, an African-American couple, reported to be ex-slaves, fled the increasing racial turmoil of Northern and Central Florida for the sparsely settled everglades frontier.
They were the first to homestead in Jewell, the area that would later become Lake Worth, arriving with just the clothes on their backs and $50 in their pockets, according to a statement released by the church.

Overcoming prejudices and stereotypes, they were the economic and social hub of a growing community of farmers and homesteaders.

Their story is explored in the context of race relations of their times including their connections to the Underground Railroad, the period of Reconstruction following the Civil War and the segregation laws of the emerging Jim Crow era. 

New Hope pastor, Rev. Tony L. Cato said, “This is not just for church members. Everyone, black and white, should know this history. Invite your family, your friends, your neighbors to this important event.”

The Church is located at 819 Washington Ave., Lake Worth (at the corner of Wingfield, down the street from the Municipal Gym). Admission is free. Light refreshments will be served.