T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History
His grandparents’ home was a holy place
Edward “Butch” Lemelle Jr. by Jennifer A. Cramer, 2016.
EDWARD “BUTCH” LEMELLE JR: My niece Kim, she ended up owning the land where my grandmother and grandfather lived. And dedicated it . . . or donated it for the church.

JENNIFER A. CRAMER: Which church?

LEMELLE: Mossville Truth. Who has now moved to Lake Charles.

CRAMER: Is that Mossville Truth Tabernacle?

LEMELLE: Right. We were there . . . That church was built on my grandmother and grandfather's property that Kim donated for the church. And another thing about that place, we always said it would be a holy grounds. Holy, holy because that's what my grandmother said her place would always be a place to feed hungry or . . . Because that's what they did. And when my pastor was getting ready to demo [demolish] to make ready to build a church, my grandmother and grandfather’s house was [crying] still standing. And he had trucks that was to come and tear down and haul it off. And that man paced up and down and he couldn't. He paid those guys, the truckers, he paid them. He said, "Y’all go ahead on I'm going . . . I got to make another decision." And he told me he said, "I can't tear this house down. I can't let it leave." He went and rented a machine and dug a hole. My grandmother's house is still there. He would not let them haul it off. He said, "Not a nail from this house is going to leave." So he buried it. So the holy ground is yet still there. I don't know what Sasol is going to do. Somebody might get saved over there. [laughs]
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This project is a collaboration between the Imperial Calcasieu Museum and LSU Libraries to document the history of Mossville, a historic African American community in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana.
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