Religion: Perseverance

One spring night in 1921 the angry torches of 10,000 white mobsters set fire to Tulsa's Negro district. The flames roared through the tinderbox houses, completely destroyed the new $92,000 Mount Zion Baptist Church (Negro). It had taken Mount Zion's 600 members seven years to finance and build their first church. All that remained were charred walls and a $50,000 mortgage.

There was an out: the congregation could go into bankruptcy, default on the debt and start over. But they decided to pay. First, money was raised for a brick, dirt-floored, basement; it would be the foundation of a new church...

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