EDOT Racial Justice News and Updates

An Update from the Longview on the 1919 Remembrance Project

The Longview 1919 Project will finally have a historical marker outside the courthouse in Longview. The Episcopal Diocese of Texas funded the oral history documentary project, an educational body of work around the historic 1919 Longview Race Riot. Our further efforts around advocacy with project supporters against city hall opposition has helped to ensure that a historical marker will be erected at the county courthouse – a landmark which was central to the riots. 

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Obelisk and Marker for the Rev. Thomas Cain and Mrs. Bettie Cain and St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church, Galveston

The Rev. Thomas Cain

St. Augustine of Hippo and both Trinity Episcopal and Grace Episcopal churches in Galveston, invite the people of the Diocese of Texas to a commemoration event celebrating the erection of an obelisk in memory of the lives of the Rev. Thomas Cain and his wife, Mrs. Bettie Cain, who died in the 1900 storm in Galveston – as they attempted to save others. Also worthy of note are other markers celebrating the historic St. Augustine of Hippo.  Known as the diocese’s first historically black church, the Rev. Cain served as St. Augustine’s second priest.

This historic dedication will be held June 1, at 10:30 a.m., at the Lakeview Cemetery located at 3015 57th St., in Galveston. A reception will follow at the St. Augustine Memorial Marker and Memorial Bench located at St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church (1410 41st St.). 

Created using funding from the John and Joseph Talbot Fund through the Episcopal Diocese of Texas Racial Justice Initiative, the Cain marker in the cemetery where the Reverend and his wife’s remains rest, is an 8-foot obelisk bearing witness to the work of the church and the commitment of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas to the people on Galveston Island.

The people of St. Augustine are also grateful to the people of Galveston, and Trinity and Grace Episcopal churches for their undying support and contribution of additional funding for the other memorial markers as well as the upcoming celebration. The marker placed at St. Augustine’s along with the dedicated reflection bench are adjacent to Cain Chapel. The diocesan Racial Justice Initiativewas established in February 2020 and is also currently funding restoration of Cain Chapel through its Cain Fund for Historic Black Churches. This fund makes transformative differences in the lives of black churches across the Diocese of Texas and is named after the Rev. Thomas Cain.  

What makes this tribute even more interesting is that the exact location of the resting place of Cains’ remains, previously unknown, was discovered by a parishioner at Trinity, who, while studying historical text, noticed a reference to the Rev. Cain. She later brought it to the attention of the island churches, and what unfolded is an invaluable gift.

The Episcopal Diocese of Texas is committed to serving historically underserved people, churches, and communities, and educating communities-at-large in the most meaningful ways through its Racial Justice Initiative and its invaluable work.

Click to see images of the obelisk and other memorial markers related to the Rev. and Mrs. Cain and St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church, Galveston. 


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