There’s a little patch of West Dallas called Gilbert-Emory. It’s only about six blocks, and it’s in the shadow of some of the new apartments and townhomes being built next to Singleton Boulevard.
And in that little neighborhood, there are four to five tiny churches. As West Dallas transforms, church members have concerns about what will happen to their neighborhood, but they’re focused on their faith.
Cedric B. West is pastor of one of those churches, the Ark of God Revival Temple.
“We’ve been here about a year now, but we’ve been in the community through my father who’s been a pastor in the community for over 50 years,” West said.
Cynthia Baker is the daughter of the late Rev. Grisby Baker Sr., who started the church.
“He actually began preaching at about the age of 18. He had regular services at the congregation in a small building, formally a cleaners. This was on Singleton Boulevard,” she said. “By the spring of 1965, we relocated to a brand new facility which Rev. Baker Sr. had built from the ground up at 2503 Obenchain St.”
West calls it a “little bittie church.”
This story is part of the KERA series “One Crisis Away: No Place To Go,” which focuses on the West Dallas housing crunch. Explore the series here.