Oral History

Reginald Hildebrand - On St. Paul AME Church

Interviewed by Rachel Broun on July 28, 2022

"And that was another way that the church related to the community. Providing a place, a home to affirm, and to the degree we could, assist people who were members of the community whatever their particular situation might be, economically or educationally."

- Dr. Reginald Hildebrand

Dr. Reginald Hildebrand discusses his experiences at St. Paul where he first visited in the 1980s while researching for his doctoral program. He explains the warm community he found at St. Paul, which replicated numerous churches he attended in his youth. He became a member in the 1990s and had an easy transition due to his family’s history within the AME church. After joining the church, he helped to start a campus ministry on UNC’s campus, making it the first African American campus ministry on UNC’s campus. He discusses the lack of official relationship between UNC and St. Paul, before explaining the different missions of the pastors who have led St. Paul throughout the years. He attended during the years of Reverend Horton, Rev. Burton, Rev. Nixon, and currently Rev. Cousins. He remembers people talking about past pastors, such as Rev. DuHart, whose presence remained in the church long after his departure. He continues by discussing St. Paul’s relationship to the Black community throughout Chapel Hill, specifically through leaders such as Rebecca Clark and Velma Perry who were pillars of the community. He explains the founding members' recurring ties to the church and the history that is shared by many members. He explains the differences between the AME church cultures in Durham compared to Chapel Hill, and how the culture of Chapel Hill allowed women such as Rebecca Clark and Velma Perry to become pillars. He goes on to share his thoughts on the potential move to Rogers Road, and the fulfillment of St. Paul's mission away from its historic location. He shares a letter that mentions St. Paul in 1868 and explains the importance of the church’s mention by the Bishop. He concludes the interview by sharing the lasting legacy St. Paul has to both the community, and himself.

Reginald Hildebrand - On St. Paul AME Church

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Oral history interview of Hildebrand, Reginald conducted by Broun, Rachel on July 28, 2022 at Marian Cheek Jackson Center, Chapel Hill, NC. Processed by Broun, Rachel.

Citation: Marian Cheek Jackson Center, “Reginald Hildebrand - On St. Paul AME Church,” From the Rock Wall, accessed July 21, 2024, https://fromtherockwall.org/oral-histories/reginald-hildebrand-on-st-paul-ame-church.

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