St. Mark's A.M.E. Church celebrates historic ties to Brown v. Board decision

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Just a few blocks from NOTO, the St. Mark's African Methodist Episcopal Church held a special program Friday night detailing its own rich history and ties to the Brown v. Board of Education case.

Founded in 1880, the church has seen a lot of history.

For First Fridays, the church celebrated an upcoming landmark - the 65th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision.

"It is a part of the story, it's a real part of the story," said Reverend Shirley Heermance.

"The Reverend Oliver Brown was pastor here at St. Mark's when the Brown v. Board of education case was actually settled and segregation was deemed unlawful," she said.

"Linda Brown, who was the daughter, actually was a member here at St. Mark's and she played piano for the church for more that 40 years."

People gathered to hear a sermon on the church's important role in history.

"St. Marks has a very rich history in terms of civil rights," Heermance said.

"St. Marks has been, and continues to be a part of the civil rights movement."

Tonight is a celebration of the upcoming 65th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision, but it's also a reminder that the church and its members continue to play an important role in north Topeka.

"St. Marks has to be a part. Not that we think that it should be, it has to be a part of this community," she said.

"It has given so much."

This is just one of many places celebrating the upcoming Brown v. Board anniversary.

For the next two weeks - there will be more events all over the city.

To see the list of events click here.