Oral histories are primary sources that give us insight into the lived experiences and historical memories of people who have played a part in historical events. In this situation, we are using oral histories to gain knowledge into the St. John’s community, church, cemetery, school, and life. We are using oral histories are to tell the story of African American life in North Texas between Reconstruction and the civil rights movement. You will be able to hear the stories directly from people who had family members that moved to the Pilot Point area that were passed down from family members over generations. They tell us about how their families came to the Pilot Point area from Alabama to start a new life, what life was like around Pilot Point and Denton County, what church life was like, and how the cemetery has changed in our consciousness over time. Oral histories are an excellent way to take you back to an earlier time through the stories.
For this project we have oral histories from church members who talk about church life in the Pilot Point area since the 1930s, individuals who have family members buried in St. John’s cemetery, individuals who helped to clean up and restore the cemetery and bring it back into the consciousness of society through their effort.