Duncan church leaders fundraise to revive historic buildings

DUNCAN, OK (KSWO)- Two historic buildings that were once an all-black school is getting the renovations it needs to keep thriving. Local church leaders are working to revive Douglass Gym and Douglass Eastside Senior Citizens Center in Duncan.

"Douglass is a big part of the history of the Eastside community," said Ronald Boyd, EastSide Ministerial Alliance member.

Roland Boyd said the center and gym were both built in the 1930's.

During that time it was an all-black school named after abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass.

Boyd said that's the reason it's important for the buildings to retain their historic value.

"It's a way of actually showing and sharing the history as to where we come from and what we have and what we are able to do and I think it's up to us that we maintain the building," he said.

Now, the senior center is used for classes and games, while the gym is for class reunions, festivals, and other activities.

Boyd said they would need approximately 50-thousand dollars to completely renovate the floor and ceiling in the gym and nine-thousand-dollars to upgrade the senior center.

They also plan to create a library of historic books that students used while in the classroom and add more memorabilia of Fredrick Douglass.

"It's very important for us to do what we got to do. Do some volunteer work and service," said Boyd.

Boyd said they are short on funds to operate throughout the year, but local church members continue to go to the senior citizens center.

He and other church leaders plan to hold a revival night at Antioch Baptist Church next week in hopes of gaining the community's support  to revive the buildings.

"We want to invite the entire city of Duncan to come out and be a part of this revival we are looking for lives to be changed, souls to be saved as well as being able to help out our senior citizens and Douglass gym at the very same time," said Boyd.

The revival will be held March 21 to March 23 at Antioch Baptist Church on 315 W Sycamore Ave Duncan, OK at 7 p.m. To help get the projects started you can contact Shannon Sanders via email at douglassesscc@gmail.com.

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